A number of clients there said they were particularly interested in this topic so we held a number of follow on discussions. There was so much great content and thinking from our clients and in the IBM team that my colleague, Charlotte Newton, and myself decided to create a point of view paper on the topic, which will be released very shortly (if you want me to send a copy directly please let me know via email - firstname.lastname@example.org).
As most of the people (clients and IBMers) in the room at the Technology Innovation Exchange were IT professionals and not many of them consultants, PMs or developers this did get people thinking!
Many other articles saw a more evolutionary level of change.
- Develop the majority of their apps in-house
- Supplement in-house apps with off-the-shelf software packages
- Run their apps and supporting middleware on directly procured and owned IT hardware
- Host and manage their IT hardware using on-premise, in-house owned data centres and/or server rooms
- Directly procure, run and manage end user devices, IT support, service desk and service management functions
- Deliver all IT related change programmes using in-house resources.
So most organisations already use levels of external sourcing and cloud is extending this. We used the IBM Component Business for IT to highlight IT functions that are often provided by external providers today. We also highlighted the fact that the level of external provision ranges greatly across different organisations.
- Business demand and, crucially, business expectation
- Technological innovation
Our clients' IT departments are definitely seeing major changes, including what many see as the consumerisation of IT, with a major – and in many ways disruptive – impact on the enterprise IT function.
CEO's and "the business" now see technology as even more critical for their short and long term success. This was evident in the IBM CEO Study earlier this year which for the first time had CEO's (from a survey of 1700) saying that they saw technology now as the most important external factor on their business.
So why can't we have the same capabilities at work? Businesses have always wanted faster, easier to use and a lower cost application of IT for their businesses - but now (at last...!) they believe / expect that they can start to get it...
And yet – businesses also need to balance the benefits and the risks of all this. Security, regulation, customer, employees, brand, etc are all important and somebody has to manage a legacy of existing systems and complexity. This drives a significant cost. Even with new capabilities the legacy is important - as usually there needs to be some level of interfacing and integration between old and new. If you use a mixture of cloud and non-cloud based services how do you synchronise and integrate the data, the network, the applications and the overall IT service?
Even a totally new start-up organisation, without a legacy IT environment to manage, and probably not needing a full scale traditional IT department will need some things - an architecture, a strategy, a way to ensure security and control compliance, a way to manage and integrate suppliers and at a basic level to turn to when something goes wrong - someone to work out which component is not working and then do something about it.