IT is in a weird spot when it comes to innovation and internal maintenance. There’s a pressure to be on the cutting edge, but there’s also an expectation to maintain exceptional daily operations. The large majority of IT’s time is spent on the latter, and you can’t reinvent the wheel if all you do all day is make more wheels. In an article for InformationWeek, Tim Herbert identifies five of the biggest factors making your life as an IT professional harder:
- Technology consumerization
- Digitization of the enterprise
- Managing modern IT
- Cost of running IT
- Talent deficit
Factors for the IT Pro
As technology continues to become a more integrated part of consumers’ lives, expectations of IT increase. When everyone has a smartphone in their pocket, it can create a misconception that enterprise systems can be replaced as quickly as you can download an app. If theory does not match reality, this perception of IT can lead to doubt that can corrode IT’s value in the eyes of the organization. This is compounded by the digitization of the enterprise. Juggernauts like Amazon and Uber have broken the mold on business traditions with their data-driven, customer-centric strategies. IT leaders are now under tremendous pressure to follow suit by utilizing the tools and talent around them.
Another big factor affecting IT professionals today is managing modern IT, which has been gradually shifting to the cloud format. As a positive of this trend, there are now more service options than ever. However, there is no intuitive way to manage the environment composed of all the tools and services the business uses. Finding the right way to manage the distributed environment is a big challenge. In addition to this, Herbert states the cost of running IT has gone up in some ways as well:
Consider the cost of operating IT Operations Management (ITOM) or IT Service Management (ITSM) systems required to support this new “AlwaysOn” imperative. The expense of these tools — coupled with the cost of implementation, integration and maintenance — can break the bank. In addition, the cost to build and support an “AlwaysOn” environment is increasing. Previously, organizations may have had a few mission critical applications requiring 24/7/365 support. Today, it seems like all applications and systems have this requirement. IT operations are no longer confined to 9-to-5, Monday-to-Friday schedule, and the manpower required to run IT has significantly increased.
Herbert’s final point is that the talent deficit is especially affecting IT, in part because IT is mismanaging talent. Instead of using talent to plot out the future actions of a company, they’re used as “firefighters” to deal with issues that pop up throughout the day. These smaller, less important aspects of their day are distractions from their true potential to be leaders of innovation, and the employees will be aware of that.
You can view the original article here: http://www.informationweek.com/strategic-cio/an-it-revolution-approaches/a/d-id/1329585