Remember when the IT department had central control over all the company’s systems, applications and devices? It’s been a while. With the rise in BYOD, IT is getting out of the basement and going mobile. Consumerization of technology and the rise in cloud computing are changing the role of IT from one of service provider and technology partner to leader and business strategist.
Gartner predicts that in 2016, 40% of the workforce will be mobile, and globally, 57.1% will be participating in BYOD. Employers and employees are moving to BYOD for a variety of reasons:
- It makes employees more productive
- It increases flexibility
- It decreases the number of devices employees need to use
And it’s changing IT governance.
The changes to IT are overall considered a good thing by many IT professionals, but there is some push back from executives who want to remain in control. Keeping control is hard in an environment where employees are creating technology-based solutions to meet their own business objectives. They aren’t waiting for IT departments to find them answers. The consumerization of technology is making it hard for centralized IT departments to keep up with device control.
Conumerization of technology
Disruptive innovations in technology keep impacting the way we live and work. Tech companies are competing to introduce the latest must-have device in a fast-paced innovative market. Central IT cannot move fast enough to keep up with what employees are carrying into the office on their own and using for business purposes. So ends the day of central IT departments deciding what devices will be use for work. Now’s the time to figure out how to keep networks and data safe with the influx of varied devices accessing systems.
The rise of cloud computing
Cloud computing and software as a service (SaaS) enables employees to take their own devices and access the applications they need, without necessarily consulting the IT department. Cloud providers offering applications and infrastructure on-demand is allowing executives and managers to be more involved in making major purchasing decisions, decisions that use to be left up to IT. Most buyers of cloud services – 64% in fact – aren’t purchasing from an IT department.
The new role
Part of the advantages of the consumerization of technology and the rise in cloud computing is that the IT department has been freed up to take on more of a business strategy role. This new role is much less about governing, limiting power and keeping control, and more about embracing the chaos and steering it towards a more productive and efficient way of providing service.
This shift in IT governance as a function for creating and supporting technology to delivering a business service requires a completely different set of skills in the workplace. Unlike in a traditional IT role, departments now need to show value by tracking business goals related to IT, maintaining a consistent and effective business and IT architecture as well as overseeing the delivery of IT functions.
With the changes in expectations for internal IT, IT executives are looking to outsource tech support. Those on the inside need to focus on business strategy, a job where turning it off and turning it back on again doesn’t work as well. It’s a shift to a whole new skill set. Although there may be a learning curve to start, companies that learn to use IT departments to work with the chaos will find themselves more effective, efficient and productive organizations.