The cloud and the growth of managed services also changes the relationship between IT and their most important vendors.
A white paper from Nemertes Research ‘Shift to “Enterprise Technology” Relies Upon Vendor Partners for Managed, Cloud Services’ explains why this shift is so important. The paper, penned by Robin Gareiss, Founder and Executive Vice President of Nemertes, argues that leading edge businesses are switching from an Information Technology (IT) focus to embracing Enterprise Technology (ET).
“Not only does this shift change the way business leaders View IT, it also alters the organizational structure of IT itself. In the ET world, the technology Team becomes more strategic, and as a result, it relies more heavily on trusted partners to handle tactical functions—and in some cases, assist in strategic direction of the company,” Gareiss said. “Managed and cloud services are playing an increasingly important role in enterprise organizations, with the network itself serving as the foundation for effective and strategic ET policy. IT leaders must define a new operating model that allows for innovation and adapts to the changes in the business climate and in the demand for services.”
IDC’s thinking is very much in line with Nemertes. “We predict that business innovation focused on creating a wider variety of solutions targeted at new business opportunities and challenges will drive a profound shift in the role of the IT organization,” says Chris Barnard, Associate Vice President at IDC. “Enterprise IT groups cannot afford any longer to be just watching, studying, exploring, or experimenting with cloud services, mobile devices, social technologies, or the other core elements of what we call the 3rd platform. They must develop deep competence in all of these technologies, often with the help of third parties with expertise in ‘as-a-service’ strategies.”
The Logicalis View
Vendor Logicalis Group has a similar view, and conducted research that suggested that CIOs reinvent themselves so they remain relevant and strategic.
The issue is the cloud makes it so easy to launch applications that line of business leaders don’t always need IT’s help.
“Sixty percent of CIO respondents agreed that line-of-business managers will gain more power over IT decision making in the next three to five years – a trend driven by the growing availability of externally available cloud services and expectations for technology and application consumerization,” Logicalis said. “The study also showed that CIOs are acutely aware of the growing need to play a more strategic role within their organizations. While some are actively working to confront the challenge of legacy operational costs and drive services-led technology and operational transformation in order to reshape the IT function, many admit they are still struggling with day-to-day IT management tasks.”
Fortunately CIOs and other IT pros are driving this change. “IT leadership is now actively looking for a services-led transformation strategy that will re-align from a technology-defined function to one that is services-defined. But CIOs are not only looking to transform their IT systems. We interpret these common themes as CIOs striving to change the way IT is perceived by the wider organization. Who wants to run a business function that line-of-business managers think is less agile and less relevant than external providers? Clearly these CIOs are taking a proactive approach to staying relevant, focused on a transformation agenda across all aspects of IT infrastructure, operations and the end-user experience.,” says Ian Cook, CEO of Logicalis Group.