Organising technology and the IT function within the enterprise is a necessary step and IT leaders should choose more than one organisational future, believes analyst John Mahoney.
Speaking at the Gartner Symposium in Cape Town, Mahoney said: “What we are seeing happening is that the combination of the nexus of forces and the huge increasing diversity of the roles of IT… What this means is there are multiple roads ahead for the organisation of IT.”
Mahoney said Gartner’s chief information officer (CIO) research group often deals with companies that want to restructure their operations.
The reason for the need to restructure, according to Mahoney, is because “the nature of what we’re doing with technology is changing, the world is moving on and the digital imperative is creating requirements for us to operate in different ways”.
Mahoney said the changing focus of IT drives four dominant futures, which are orientated as operational and transformational.
The operational function with an external focus includes “IT as a global service provider”. In terms of transformation, an external focus positions IT as wholly encompassing the business.
The internally focused operational function positions IT as “the engine room” and a transformational internal focus includes everyone in IT.
Mahoney used construction as a case example for IT as the engine room because it delivers ongoing cost improvements, it seeks out new ways in which to deliver the same IT capabilities for less, is highly responsive to changing business needs and is not solely focused on cloud computing.
For IT as a global service provider – global meaning a universal portfolio of services, not planet wide – Mahoney used consumer packaged goods as a case example because it is a virtually, centralised organisation, it adopts a marketing perspective as a trusted partner, it ensures in-sourced services are competitive with external options and it aims for increased value expressed in business terms.
Higher education was the case example for “everyone is IT” because it focuses on information and not technology or productivity, and it is a high maturity enterprise.
Mahoney used media as a case example for “IT is the business” because it is an enterprise structured around information flow and not process or function.
He added that the media can also be regarded as “everyone is IT” because it shares some of the same aspects higher education does.