This is my response to the ComputerWorld article:
Where Is Modern IT Heading? – opens in new window/tab
The author of that article veers drastically from the main question of his article and never answers it, but instead digresses into the study of the word ‘modern’. Here’s my take on where IT is headed.
The author attempts to define IT and seems to say everything technical a company does ends up being IT. I think that is one of the core problems: no one really attempts to define IT.
What Does IT Do?
It’s difficult to nail down what IT does. That leads me to believe, exactly as everyone else in the organization does, that IT is overhead. If you can’t easily enumerate what they do, then they’re overhead. Compare this to Building Maintenance. Well, what do they do? A little of this, a little of that. Change some lightbulbs here, plunge a stopped up toilet over there and make sure people are comfortable (Heating Ventilation / Air Conditioning).
Is IT Just the Equivalent of Janitorial Services?
IT does the same thing. Sets up computers, replaces hard drives, and plunges the Internet so it doesn’t get plugged up. If you never had any problems, you wouldn’t need IT. Which just goes to show you, IT is Overhead. That’s how business thinks of us.
No One Really Needs The Google Search Engine
So where is IT going? If we could get rid of it, we’d get rid of it, right?
A good analogy might be Google. If you knew the exact Internet link that took you to the best resource that answered your question then you’d have no need for Google search. Same thing with IT.
Businesses use IT because they have to. Except, now they are thinking, “wait a second, IT is overhead In This Economy, so how do we get rid of that overhead?”
The answer: cloud services, as much as possible.
What does that mean? It means getting rid of IT as much as possible. Outsource it. Business doesn’t want to hear their IT staff saying things like, “well, we can’t get that working right for you” ever again. Instead, you just want to hear that “it works”.
Do IT Yourself
That’s where IT is headed. It’s headed to smaller in-house and more “let’s do it ourselves using any resources we can instead of having some giant battalion of on-site people.”
MS-Word Doesn’t Have To Be Installed or Maintained
Think about it. You don’t need to install Word (an IT support role) anymore, you just need to open a browser. Everything can be supported remotely so you don’t need on-site IT.
What Does Business Do?
You can answer where “Modern IT” is going by answering this question: What does business do? It makes money. How does IT help you do more of that? It doesn’t. IT eats money. In This Economy?!
Don’t Start Getting All Upset, Just Change
But, if you’re in IT don’t start getting all upset. Instead, start thinking about what you can really do to make yourself more valuable. What can you do to help the company make more money? Can you streamline processes so all the sales peoples’ devices are a collaborative solution that allows them to do their work more easily and faster and make more sales? All right, now you’re getting to some “Modern IT”.
Do Something Valuable
Can you write software that generates reports that help decision-makers within the company make better decisions and track their work? Now, you’re onto Modern IT. If not, you are just overhead. If you’re just replacing old hard-drives, then you are overhead, because now, with Cloud Services, there are no hard drives, there is just the big Drive In the Clouds. Now, my data is available remotely. I don’t need hard drives any more. We’re talking about MODERN IT. That’s where Modern IT goes, because it cuts down the overhead.
What Happens When Hardware & Software Need No Support?
Also as products mature, they need less support. Everyone should be forced to use an iPhone that is so user-friendly that there is never any need for support. If everyone uses on the price will be driven so low that if you have a problem, you can just throw the old one away, restore from the cloud and keep using the thing like it was your old one. No IT needed.
Make yourself valuable and you won’t have to worry about being overhead, because you’ll always be the True MODERN IT!
Keep on learning, keep on growing.