Corporate IT's Darwinian Challenge - InformationWeek

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Corporate IT's Darwinian Challenge
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User Rank: Ninja
11/26/2014 | 7:31:31 AM
Re: Internal versus Cloud
@TerryB, this is what I wonder as well.  Most people see IT as the PC on their desk and the servers running applications but this is just part of what a corporate IT group should be doing.  That being said from the article " Instead it was, and continues to be, IT's inability to change itself as its ecosystem changes around it. "  this does continue to be a problem in some companies.  Eventually IT groups can get too big to get out of their own way.   I turned down a position with a very large company about 10 years ago because through the hiring process I could see how painful it was going to be to get anything done.  There are still groups out there who think of hardware as appliances and you just use them until they give out.  The age of a more nimble IT group is here and if you're not able to move near the speed of consumer based solutions then you're going to get push back from everyone that depends on you.  
User Rank: Ninja
11/26/2014 | 5:43:19 AM
Re: Corporate IT's Darwinian Challenge
Thanks for this, Sarah. The popular expression about seeing the forest for the trees seems very applicable here. It's somewhat forgivable for an IT pro who has his head in his work to forget that these broad concepts are apart of his job, and that they're not scary ghost-of-christmas-future-style possible outcomes, but rather key opportunities for growth. That's why I think your point as well TerryB's compelling counterpoint can go hand-in-hand together; There's a difference between heady concepts and the reality of day-to-day IT operations, but not necessarily a mismatch.

There's a lot of talk about tech spending and projects slipping away from IT into other parts of the business - marketing, "shadow IT", and the introduction of 'digital' officers. Many people seem to think that's a bad thing. My thought is that IT can't possibly expand to incorporate any and all technology activities in the business, but that it should have a hand in all of it. if you want to be a part of all that, then be a part of it! Why can't IT leaders put their name in to be that chief digital officer? On the other end, routine services won't just dissapear, and staff will always need to exist for helpdesk-like roles. What we currently think of as 'IT' may diversift and even split into multiple departments, but there's no reason to view that negatively.
User Rank: Ninja
11/25/2014 | 1:18:44 PM
Internal versus Cloud
I read these types of articles and it's tough to get my head around what exactly is getting replaced. Our Corp level services include firewall, proxy server/internet/gateway filtering, circuit management, VPN gateways, company external website, company internal intranet, antivirus, Active Directory and email (Lotus Notes).

I'm leaving out Windows desktop and server implementations, since those are what you (at least I) think about when you think cloud.

Then you get to more local business unit level where ERP (back office thru shop floor), PCL/MES systems (think Wonderware, and the integration to ERP), printer support, network device support and cell/mobile support come in.

Just exactly how are users implementing their own "shadow IT" to replace that? I have not met many business users who are even aware of this stuff, they think big business should work as simply as their home ISP and their iPhone does.

Even if all this was "in the cloud", how many internal IT do you need to coordinate all this? These are the reasons I think this cloud stuff is mostly hype. For small business, I get it. For a $100 million+ multi-unit, global entity, not so much. Not every business is an internet company that needs elastic, fast growing storage and large scale peak capacity scaling. How many, if any, business to business manufacturers need the cloud, now or ever?

User Rank: Author
11/25/2014 | 10:43:03 AM
Good tips
But if your IT group is just accepting these realities now, you're behind the curve.
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