Is the cloud killing IT departments?
By Clinton Jones on March 6, 2014
There’s a school of thought suggests that SaaS and the cloud are killing off IT departments in companies of all sizes. It also projects that at least a third of existing IT organization will be left behind to sustain and provide on-site technical assistance à la IT Crowd’s Moss and Roy. While this transformation is not likely to happen overnight, the real question is: If it’s bound to happen, how long will it take for old-school IT departments to become a legacy due to continuing technical advances?
Some time ago, a similar concern could be heard from the business side regarding the lack of agility and dynamism of internal IT departments. Concerns were also voiced by IT that business unit application development, along with the suggestion that business units embed IT, eroded the overall integrity of business solutions.
Some experts argued that such solutions could not be properly supported and ultimately cost the business much more than they should. Others suggested that business units were not the best candidates for evaluating and selecting technology solutions, implying that IT possessed some sort of secret decoder ring for identifying solutions best fit for the business.
In the end, rather than replace IT altogether or diminish its role in the business, “maverick” solutions merely displaced some of the work of the IT department or rendered certain functions redundant.
IT is more than email, PCs and VPNs
The days of men in white lab coats wiling away hours in a frigid room with large grey boxes and jittering magnetic tape reels, are long gone. Instead, IT’s role has expanded to include much more. A detailed examination of IT function reveals that they now perform a great deal more than simply providing desktop computers, managing email services, supporting remote access and configuring, installing and maintaining business applications. However, this growth in responsibilities, functions and capabilities has come with the concomitant cost of sprawling IT organizations.
Ironically, a detailed examination of IT functions reveals that they now perform a great deal more than simply providing desktop computers, managing email services, supporting remote access and selecting, configuring, installing and maintaining business applications. Similarly, simplified data processing service functions have also largely disappeared. Instead, IT’s role has expanded to include much more. However, this growth in responsibilities, functions and capabilities has come with the concomitant cost of sprawling IT organizations.
Buying Back Time For IT
To a certain extent, the core existence for the IT department – delivering technology solutions to facilitate the mission and goals of a company – has been lost due to the busy work of sustaining the IT behemoth as a whole. Moving technologies to the cloud essentially buys IT time to refocus on where it can add the most value.
The true value of corporate IT does not come from log and event checking, queue administration, printer restarts, configuring IP addresses and doing ITSEC security administration and backups. The real value of business-centered IT departments comes from understanding the company’s business needs and finding appropriate technologies and approaches to address these needs. It comes from being innovative and getting the best value for the money from the technology that the business invests in.
In this light, cloud-based technology holds the promise of an even more powerful IT organization – one that is agile and aligned more closely with the business. IT departments and business units that engage in BUAD have the ability to get the most out of their existing core ERP and SharePoint technologies in the cloud or on premise by implementing platforms like Winshuttle Foundation.
Winshuttle achieves this by helping organizations to rapidly build automations for ERP systems like SAP and Oracle EBS without having to customize or modify the underlying application logic of the core systems of record. Furthermore, organizations interested in solutions that offer flexible options in terms of workflow and data staging environments can choose to use Microsoft Excel, Access or Web-based forms as the medium through which to create, collate, aggregate, verify and maintain ERP master and transactional data.
Learn how Carestream Health, a worldwide provider of dental and medical imaging systems and IT solutions, uses Winshuttle Foundation to improve master data management in a modern way with tools that seamlessly integrate into the back office.
About the author
Clinton Jones is a Director for Finance Solutions Management at Winshuttle where he has worked since 2009. He is internationally experienced having worked on finance technologies and business process with a particular focus on integrated business solutions in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and North America. Clinton serves as a technical consultant on technology and quality management as it relates to data and process management and governance for finance organizations globally. Prior to Winshuttle he served as a Technical Quality Manager at SAP and with Microsoft in their Global Foundation Services group.
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