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Paradox: The Role of IT in Technology and Business


Paradox: The Role of IT in Technology and Business


Configuration ManagementSo try getting your head around this: as technology becomes simpler and easier to manage, it actually becomes more complex. That's the main point raised in looking at how IT will develop in the recent article, The IT Paradox: A Diminished Role in Technology, but Greater Clout in the Business published in CIO.com.

Cloud Changes the Technology Experience

The divergence between what users experience and what was required for them to have that experience has grown ever larger. Disruptive technologies, including cloud computing, underlie this transition. Since the cloud-based applications need more logic in order to support multiple users and multiple organizations while serving up personalized and customized content, as well as protecting and partitioning data, the cloud platform embodies complexity and while producing more and more data for review. 

In our article, Cloud Changes Everything! Need a New Generation Of Management Tools, we describe how cloud operations is generating a growing amount of information, making it impossible to manage IT environments without implementing intelligent automated analytics.

More Infrastructure Models

Beyond the software itself, complexity is entering the broader cloud infrastructure layers. IT could once be described as having two deployment options: in-house data centers or IT outsourcing. Now IT teams face five different deployment models: traditional on-premise, public cloud, private clouds (both internal and hosted) and traditional IT outsourcing.

We covered the changing IT landscape, in our article, Forget Tool Improvements! Today's Systems Management Needs a New Generation Of Tools, explaining how "the new generation of tools needs to be able to aggregate dynamic information coming from multiple cloud vendors, and to translate this data into actionable metrics. These tools should be seamlessly integrated into dynamic resource management and automated deployment." They need to recognize and support traditional software stack while interacting with the underlying virtual and cloud infrastructure.

Development is more Agile

Software development has undergone a transformational change, from two-tiered client/server architectures to three-tiered Web architectures and today's development paradigm, where applications are expected to be collaborative, location-aware and on-demand, incorporating interfaces for social, mobile and cloud extensions.

This was explored in our recent article, 4 Software Development Approaches Driven By Cloud and Their Complications, where we described how there are a many issues that IT organizations face when executing projects according to Agile methodologies. "The most common issue is that developers often step away from the rigor needed to deliver successful IT projects." To make sure that developers didn't make ad hoc changes to the environment that could affect performance, a monitoring tool is a must-have for identifying even subtle changes.

What To Expect for IT

The CIO.com article goes on to list some of areas that will come to redefine the role of IT.

  • The consumerization of IT will expand.
    "As IT matures, it becomes increasingly commoditized, and once-specialty functions become available at lower price points to a wider audience"
  • IT gets disintermediated (circumvented).
    "Enterprise buyers within business units go outside of internal IT departments and procure technology themselves."
  • Complexity forces IT to change its role.
    IT will be an integrator and manager of technology, expanding its role in policy and governance. This is key, since consumer technologies used in an enterprise setting create many challenges
  • IT becomes a business function.
    This is at the center of the paradox for IT. Moving away from technology assembly and coming closer into technology integration, helping manage and oversee all the hidden complexity, "IT may well become more of a strategic adviser to the business."
The new role for IT is already unfolding, pushed forward by the consumerization of IT and other disruptive IT trends. Still, the focus for IT remains the same to support the use of information technologies to benefit the business. Today, IT has even more opportunity to drive transformational change for the business.

Your Turn
How do you see IT and business coming together?

About the Author
Martin Perlin