Leadership

IT on its way out?

A report is suggesting there will be a massive shift in the way IT is performed because traditional IT isn’t agile enough.

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Seven in ten business leaders think that technology has become “far more important” over the past five years according to new research just published.

Executive-innovation advocacy group, the Business Performance Innovation (BPI) Network surveyed 250 business leaders worldwide, and came up with the results in a report called Accelerating Business Transformation through Innovation.

Despite the perceived new-found importance of tech, the numbers weren’t all rosy for IT, though. IT is perceived as being slow to innovate, in some cases.

Poor IT

Some business leaders who were surveyed think IT department innovation is poor. Only 14 percent rated the “level of innovation in IT organizations” as “very high.”

Most of the 250 gave middling ratings, with “making progress” at 37 percent or “good” at 33 percent.

But 15 percent of survey respondents rated IT innovation as “poor.”

IT out?

Another earlier, initial study, from BPI, called Accelerate How You Innovate, found bosses were looking to modernize and upgrade their data centers. Those upgrades would likely take the form of cloud-based systems, rather than traditional on-premises data centers.

That migration off-site doesn’t bode well for classic IT.

More problems for IT take the form of software-as-a-service. Business leaders, frustrated with “the lack of progress,” are using approaches that help them achieve business goals “without the direct involvement of IT,” the study says.

That initial study concluded that there is a need for a “new IT.” IT teams must ‘evolve with new technologies,” it says.

What they want

But, although the news doesn’t sound great, conveniently for IT, the executives do explain clearly what it is that they think they need:

“Agility, innovation and speed” are important. And specifically: IoT, virtualization, software-defined data centers, machine learning, APIs and predictive analytics showed-up when the executives were asked what they see as the most transformative technologies that might give them a competitive advantage in the marketplace.

Real-time intelligence wanted

Real-time intelligence from embedded sensors, which we call IoT, came in top at 35 percent.

Web-based business models were second at 33 percent and social media data-mining, along with more efficient engagement was perceived as advantage-gaining by 29 percent of the surveyed.

Micro-targeting and personalization with Big Data analytics was important, as was the general “proliferation of smart mobile devices and applications.”

More troubling perhaps for traditional IT was that software-defined IT infrastructures and data centers (17 percent); and downsizing of corporate IT infrastructures and a shift to the cloud (19 percent) showed above single percentage figures.

Respondents had 12 options to choose from.

Data centers

Forty-eight percent planned to modernize their data centers, with 44 percent likely to migrate to a hybrid IT model—with an on-premises data center and cloud mix.

And thirty-two percent said they were likely to consolidate servers when asked what their enterprise was likely to do with its data center over the next few years.

Music business comparison

It’s not great news for traditional IT, and the results found by the admittedly pro-innovation BPI remind me a bit of my days in the music industry in the nineties and noughties.

There was an expression we used then—just as the whole thing was falling apart due to changes in public attitude to paid-for intellectual property, and with technology aiding that change—which was: “You can’t fight technology.”

And the smarter ones didn’t—some musical acts moved quickly to a live performance-based revenue stream, rather than mechanical royalties.

IT might have to be equally adaptable if this report is anything to go by. Information technology: Don’t fight technology. You can’t.

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