Why IT Departments Need to Change When They Reach to the Clouds—Or End Up A Relic Of Bygone Times Like The Dinosaur

Simply supporting and providing technology for moving email and content around isn’t enough anymore— IT departments need to switch their focus from technology to the content—or risk extinction

The classic image of the IT man as a technician, ready to fix printers and solve user problems is still very much in vogue, alongside the IT team managing systems and hardware to keep the company content contained and secure.  The truth of the matter is that as technology evolves and the workforce changes, the classic IT tech may soon find themselves a spare wheel in a tech-savvy world.

This simple conclusion is reached by looking at the emergent workforce. Millennials born in the mid-1990s and younger have never known a life without the internet and instant access to information that it delivers—and as a result are the most tech-savvy generation ever to hit our nation’s offices.

An interesting change that comes with this new, dynamic and technologically competent workforce is its complete ease with the cloud: less email, more instant messaging services and less laptop and more phone, which offer ease of use and instantaneous delivery in communication.

Microsoft is one company angling to capitalize on this trend. Already a familiar tool in our offices, the company is offering all students over 13 Office 365 free of charge, accessible from any laptop (Mac or Windows) and any smartphone. It is natural that they will come to expect this when hitting the workplace: but can an IT department relinquish their control of the reigns to this cloud-based solution, or will they continue with outdated, off-the-hook enterprise solutions that alienate their user base?

While an outraged IT manager might proclaim that the increase risk of data loss—not to mention chagrin at letting a young upstart dictate IT strategy—the simple fact is that millennials understand that this is a part of the landscape and simply save often (and in many cases, the cloud does so automatically); compared to the average baby boomer’s saving habits, this represents a significant increase in productivity.

In the end, this resistance to change from some IT departments represents a culture of mistrust between the department’s workers and those it serves, which in turn manifests as control—the most efficient way to prevent user error and egregious abuse of company-wide protection systems.

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IT departments today are focused on computer rooms and huge boxes of technology architected to support a specific business model.  This structure changes significantly with the cloud as the boxes, and sometimes the data center becomes someone else’s responsibility.  This allows the IT team to focus on content and applications that enable the organization to be more efficient, significantly changing the relationship between IT and the business.

In the end, without this change they create a digital “prison” which utilizes limited technology to protect company data may ultimately constrict a business, while younger businesses with a cloud culture will simply hop, skip and jump over them to win the prizes and contracts. It is when this loss becomes too great to bare that the era of the IT department faces a very real threat: adapt or die. The cloud based world of business may be chaotic at first glance, but it is the future of business.

An IT department with its focus on the cloud, its content and how to best manage this within a framework of a technologically competent workforce will be the one that thrives and survives. Those who won’t will surely die under the meteorite that is currently screaming towards them.

Steve Dalby manages content for important people.  The user!  SharePoint and Office 365 are the tools of his trade. Steve has produced business relevant governance strategies and business change programs to allow the end user to focus on the content and IT department to focus on the delivery of an Enterprise Content Management service both in and out of the cloud.  If you want to hear about his successes.  Email for more details.  SteveDalby@sei-is.be

About the Author: 

An experienced and solutions-driven IT strategist and leader offering a proven track record of results delivery and high-level business improvement within the IT sector, spanning over 30 years.Leads high performing staff, processes, strategies and projects across a range of business sectors and has the credibility and gravitas to influence at the highest levels. Living in Central Europe for the last 10 Years Steve Finds this a great place to support European business’s both at the 80Million per year to the 500,000 per year all wanting to grow and expand in various areas and everyone wanting to ensure a good return on investment from their IT Euro (pound or Dollar). Focusing on SharePoint and Moss2007 technology for companies of all sizes has allowed these skills to implement several successful Collaborative environments into various size businesses each one improving data flow around the company and showing positive investment of cash and resources.

Steve Dalby on Why IT Departments Need to Change

Steve Dalby on Why IT Departments Need to Change

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