Chief information officers (CIOs) are rethinking the future role of IT in organizations and the part it will play, according to research firm Gartner.
The cause of query is the changing the shape IT has taken. CIOs note that as businesses continue to confront global economic uncertainty, changing market dynamics and cultural discontinuities created by technological innovation, they will have to change the way they interact with IT.
According to Gartner, these CIOs will play a pivotal role in the future of IT organization. Gartner said they must ensure senior IT stakeholders are involved from the outset, so that their support is guaranteed. Once CIOs understand how their role will change, they can begin to start planning a personal road map.
“We are witnessing the emergence of a new generation of CIOs, one that aims not so much to ‘run’ IT as to ensure that the business achieves strategic value from the use of technology,” said John Mahoney, vice president and analyst at Gartner. “Although this isn’t an entirely new development, the extent of the change is growing and a tipping point will be reached in the next five years.”
Gartner identified four dominant futures for IT in the organization, which the research firm stressed are not mutually exclusive and may exist in combination.
In the first scenario, Gartner describes the IT organization as more of a global service provider that runs like a business. IT will be fully centralized, focusing on business areas and business value, adopts a marketing perspective, capitalizes on its internal position, and delivers competitive services.
In the second scenario, IT is seen as the engine room where their services are delivered quickly at a market-competitive rate. IT organizations flourish by monitoring technology and market developments, and building expertise in IT asset optimization, sourcing and vendor management, and IT financial management. By doing so, IT will continue to deliver cost improvements, find new ways to deliver IT services for less, and will be highly responsive to changing business needs.
In the third scenario, IT “is” the business. As the information market continue to grow, it will become businesses’ explicit product, or at least part of their product. Businesses will be structured around the flow of information and IT innovations within the value chain, rather than just providing services in businesses.
In the final scenario, business leaders and individuals are the IT organization. Everyone will use information and technology to break through traditional business perimeters and drive innovation together. The emphasis in this scenario is on information, not technology.
Traditional business models will fail in this area as they will see the change as anarchy. However, others will see this approach as liberating and for that reason; Gartner said this model works in non-traditional situations such as dynamic businesses, startups, and R&D/entrepreneurial/community ventures.