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What the next evolution of enterprise IT means for your job

Bob Tarzey, Analyst and Director

Quocirca Comment Feb 2013


More and more of the IT infrastructure that businesses rely on is being managed by third parties, and there are two reasons for this. First, many IT departments are taking formal decisions to make more use of on-demand services. This ranges from the use of co-location data centres that house private infrastructure through to full blown software-as-a-service where the end users provide nothing but the access devices (and even these may be maintained by a specialist managed service provider). Second, there is plenty of informal use of cloudbased services, being subscribed to directly from lines of business, often with little reference to the IT department. In a research report published by Symantec, titled Avoiding the hidden costs of the cloud this is termed rogue IT. According to the survey, conducted among over 3,000 organisations in almost 30 countries, three quarters of organisations accept this is going on. The examples given include the sales manager who signs up for Salesforce without consulting IT, or marketing sharing launch materials with outsiders via a Dropbox account. But this so-called rogue IT is not a new phenomenon; a similar thing happened back in the 1980s with the rise of the mini-computer, which lines of business could buy direct, install under the desk and avoid the complex process of getting applications installed on the company mainframe. The use of the term rogue IT suggests this is a bad thing and it may indeed lead to a loss of control of data if it is not policed. However, it also reflects the exasperation on the part of business that IT departments are failing to react fast enough to their needs. There needs to be a meeting in the middle. The fact that decisions about making use of IT application are moving away from IT departments and back towards business users is surely a good thing. Over time that is going to involve a wholesale change in the way IT departments utilise the skills of their staff. The balance needs to change, moving away from technical specialists to more business-savvy individuals, tasked with making sure that applications, however they are sourced, support the business processes of the organisations they work for and the management of data is secure and compliant and procurement is cost effective. Those that doubt that this should be an imperative should look at the wastage of IT skills in end-user organisations that was exposed in a free report recently published by Quocirca, The wastage of human capital in IT operations. On average, businesses estimate they are using well under half of the skills that their IT staff have on a day-to-day basis and in most cases, this wastage is just accepted. This leads to demotivated staff who will be looking for more fulfilling jobs, especially if the economy starts to pick up. And they will find them by turning to service providers. The irony of this research is that IT managers admit that, if they were able to free up more of their staffs time, they would focus on two things; modernising their IT infrastructure and providing better applications to the business. Both of these could more rapidly be achieved by turning to service providers anyway, further driving that need for less technical and more business focussed in-house skills. To be clear, this does not mean that technically skilled IT engineers are going to find themselves out of work; it is just that the best jobs for them will be with service providers rather than enduser organisations.

What the next evolution of enterprise IT means for your job

http://www.quocirca.com

2013 Quocirca Ltd

Here, they will find their jobs more motivating as service providers have to achieve the goal of delivering better quality, more efficient IT services than end users organisations can achieve in-house, because their whole business model relies on this. They will be more likely to use advanced automated management process, freeing engineers from mundane tasks to focus on more stimulating work. Just as with the outsourcing of other business requirements, the service-provider-driven sourcing of IT needs access to reliable, high performance networks. However, it is not as if there is any other choice; as workers become more and more mobile and all organisations participate in network integrated business processes this is bound to be the case.

IT departments that continue to rely on fossilised applications running on creaking infrastructure that they are ill-equipped to manage will find themselves lagging further and further behind competitors that make more agile use of third party IT services. For those seeking a career in IT, they will increasingly have two choices. Either a more technical role with service providers, helping to manage enterprise quality, massively scalable infrastructure that will underpin the majority of business IT needs in the long term; or a business focussed role in an end user organisation sourcing and integrating those services to best serve a given business. Either way, IT will continue to offer a great career path for many aspiring young people for years to come. This article first appeared in Tech Republic http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/europeantechnology/what-the-next-evolution-ofenterprise-it-means-for-yourjob/1498?tag=content;siu-container

What the next evolution of enterprise IT means for your job

http://www.quocirca.com

2013 Quocirca Ltd

About Quocirca
Quocirca is a primary research and analysis company specialising in the business impact of information technology and communications (ITC). With world-wide, native language reach, Quocirca provides in-depth insights into the views of buyers and influencers in large, mid-sized and small organisations. Its analyst team is made up of realworld practitioners with first-hand experience of ITC delivery who continuously research and track the industry and its real usage in the markets. Through researching perceptions, Quocirca uncovers the real hurdles to technology adoption the personal and political aspects of an organisations environment and the pressures of the need for demonstrable business value in any implementation. This capability to uncover and report back on the end-user perceptions in the market enables Quocirca to advise on the realities of technology adoption, not the promises. Quocirca research is always pragmatic, business orientated and conducted in the context of the bigger picture. ITC has the ability to transform businesses and the processes that drive them, but often fails to do so. Quocircas mission is to help organisations improve their success rate in process enablement through better levels of understanding and the adoption of the correct technologies at the correct time. Quocirca has a pro-active primary research programme, regularly surveying users, purchasers and resellers of ITC products and services on emerging, evolving and maturing technologies. Over time, Quocirca has built a picture of long term investment trends, providing invaluable information for the whole of the ITC community. Quocirca works with global and local providers of ITC products and services to help them deliver on the promise that ITC holds for business. Quocircas clients include Oracle, IBM, CA, O2, T-Mobile, HP, Xerox, Ricoh and Symantec, along with other large and medium sized vendors, service providers and more specialist firms.

Full access to all of Quocircas public output (reports, articles, presentations, blogs and videos) can be made at http://www.quocirca.com

What the next evolution of enterprise IT means for your job

http://www.quocirca.com

2013 Quocirca Ltd