Examining the Future of the IT Shop


IT is changing daily. CIOs are shifting priorities. How will that change the way IT orgs are assembled, operated in the future? I just started speaking with some leading experts for a year-end story I'll be writing on the IT org of the future.

One of those experts, Hal Sirkin, harkened back to what some might call an old argument: that IT departments, and particularly their leaders, need to be more business savvy.

As most of us know, many of the hot button issues in IT management remain so because it takes time—lots of time—for changes to come to fruition.

Sirkin says CIOs need to be a bridge—not just between IT and the business, but between the past and the future of what IT is capable of doing for companies. (We get a window into the CIO's mind each year through the Society for Information Management's survey of top CIO concerns; you can read the latest here.)

The IT org of 2025 or 2030 will look drastically different than it does today, so much so that it's pretty useless to speculate about. But the IT org of 2015 (which will likely be the emphasis of my story) will likely have to straddle the line between legacy and new, maturing technologies, generational gaps in the workforce and changing priorities for IT and the business.

We wrote last year about one of the big changes that's already taking shape: that IT orgs will become smaller, leaner groups of managers and strategists, with most specialty work farmed out to value-adding experts. But we've also seen indications that non-IT pros are making IT buying decisions, vendors are looking past CIOs to sell technology, and the cloud is changing everything.

And that's probably just scratching the surface.

I want to hear from the IT pros out there: what will your organization look like in the next 10 years or so? Which factors will drive those changes?


2 Comments for "Examining the Future of the IT Shop"

  • On my way out, finally September 05, 2008 1:56 pm

    Brian, I'd like to offer a little spin for your future featured article on how IT is going to be by the year 2015. Many of writers who have written about it along the timeline and their pronostications miss a most important element in discussion. Instead, why don't you concentrate in the "State of Data in 2015"? What IT stands for? What is IT? In the olden days we called it data processing (DP) and we were in the business of processing data that business owned vs. transactions that changed it into information, that's all. Sophistication came through technology improvements and complicated the view of what data is. But yet the business of IT remains processing data; it was before, it is today, and it will forever be. Our profession keeps reinventing itself because it needs to feed itself, feed the 'inventors' and manufacturers but the basic concepts and practices remain the same; all that it can be done is to put a new fresh coat of paint each time one has hunger pains and needs to make money. The 2015 look will the same and it will go into history as missing the point. Do more research of what it ailing businesses and you will find out that their basic asset is and it has been since the begining, in shambles. Please address this fact and emphasize the need for better treatment of data capture.

  • David Hutchison September 04, 2008 9:00 am

    The article makes it sound as if "non-IT pros" (aka business leaders) are just starting to make IT buying decisions. This has been going on for years, and has a great deal to do with the lack of standardization and interoperability found within organizations. Savvy IT leaders will tell you that having business leaders making decisions is critical to their success. Their job is to present accurate data, technical solutions, costs and risks to the business leaders for them to determine the appropriate level of committment or investment. This way the business is involved in the decision, making them much less critical of IT. Now it's up to the IT pros to execute the strategy, which is a whole different topic for discussion...

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