IT Must Evolve or Fall by the Wayside

IT organizations can best survive the coming years by evolving from service providers to full business partners, according to a report from International Data Corp. That means partnering with vendors, customers and others across their own organizations to demonstrate information technology’s true value, said Mary Hartman, an analyst at the Framingham, Mass.-based research firm.

According to Hartman, increasing competition in the business world is placing more pressure on IT organizations, and as a result, they must respond to business requests faster. They also must deal with the fast-paced evolution of technology, as well as workforce issues such as labour shortages and mobile workers, Hartman said.

If IT organizations focus on offering strategic technology that provides economic value to the business, they’re more likely to succeed, she said. However, if they fail to evolve, their businesses won’t realize the full benefits of technology, and the organizations themselves could face budget cuts and downsizing. IT departments will also need to work more closely with outsourcers.

Those changes will also alter the role of the CIO, possibly giving each business unit a CIO who reports to a centralized IT consulting office, Hartman said. The central office would set the protocols and policies, with each CIO implementing them, she predicted.