What will the IT department look like in the future?

Tags: artificial intelligence, Cloud, IaC, IAAS, Infrastructure, Infrastructure as a Service, Machine learning, Operating Model, organisation, Outsourcing, RPA, vendor management

2020 has given us a significant change to how we work, how technology works for us and how we integrate with the world as a whole. The internet provided the starting pistol for this phase and now access to new technology, data and services is accelerating at breakneck speed.

Covid for better or worse has been an enabler for more people to work from home and the whole remote working experiment, that some employers could not get around to do, others trust their staff to behave and for many of us the option that we knew would be the best work life balance for us.

The impact of this cannot be underestimated. However, whilst these technologies continually disrupt the market, the corresponding changes to the overall operating models has in our view lagged (this is particularly true in larger organisations which have struggled to shift from the old to the new).

If you take a peek into organisation structures today they often still resemble those of the late 90’s where capabilities in infrastructure were organised by specialists such as data centre, storage, service management, application support etc. There have been changes, specifically more recently with the shift to dev-ops and continuous integration and development, but there is still a long way go.

Companies like Microsoft, Google and Amazon have superior technical expertise and they are continuing to expose these directly to the end consumer. Thus, the IT department needs to think less about how to either build or procure from a third party, but more how to build a framework of services which “knits together” a service model which can best meet their business needs with a layered, end-to-end approach. This fits perfectly with a more business product centric approach.

We don’t see an increase for in-house technology footprints with maybe the exception of truly data driven organisations or tech companies themselves.

The commercial and vendor management aspects of the IT department will become more important. This is often a skill which is absent in current companies, so a conscious strategy to develop capability is needed.

Organisations are being forced to update their operating model to reflect the changing shape of technology services, with the closer alignment of products and services to technology provision never being as important as it is today.

Indeed, our view is that even if your model serves you well today, in 5 years time it is likely to look fairly stale. This is because what your company currently offers to your customers is almost certain to change, which will require fundamental re-engineering across, and around, the entire IT stack.

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