The largest hotel company in the world owns no physical rooms. The largest passenger service in the world does not own a single car. Unlike the technology that has created a plethora of products and functions for consumers and businesses, Airbnb and Uber are bringing technological disruption to delivery models. And in 2016, the information technology sphere will continue to accelerate a trend developed over the last several years. The IT offerings that businesses purchase will not change, however; how those products and services are purchased will be considerably different.
The consumption of IT services is moving away from the traditional mechanism of long-implementation cycles including: design, purchase and installation of operating systems, systems management software, server costs, and maintenance. This approach embeds technologies in a slow, complex and expensive manner. Replacing it is a skillful and agile system for IT that provides services, storage and infrastructure on demand.
This delivery system offers scalability, allowing IT divisions to purchase based on need. This is a fundamental shift that places corporate IT departments as consumers of IT, thereby allowing greater synergies inside organizations and placing the IT department as a deliverer of value to the business as opposed to a cost center. Now, IT’s role is not just service delivery, but a means to add value by managing risk more effectively, and bringing faster speed to market for products and services.
Fundamental to this transformation is the utilization of cloud-based technologies as the delivery solution for IT services, storage and infrastructure. Services such as Microsoft Azure, Dropbox (News - Alert) and Verismic’s Cloud Management Suite are the next phase of an evolving IT infrastructure focused on virtualization and automation.
There is tremendous growth in these cloud platforms, with compound annual growth rates exceeding 15 percent. And rates are expected to continue climbing in the coming decade as demand increases for innovative solutions to the surge and complexity of data driven applications, resource utilization, and management and monitoring environments.
IT is aligning with the long-run economic concept of specialization of labor and its development and enhancement of core competencies, as a means to exert a comparative and competitive advantage in the marketplace.
For the IT department looking to integrate further into a corporate ecosystem, this means focusing on areas of expertise. If your IT department is adept at infrastructure, then pursue that business and shed unprofitable lines that can be outsourced. The goal should be to hold a core of differentiated assets, which can drive high-value competitive inertia and greater cost efficiency.
This task can be difficult, particularly if there are antiquated and rigid IT processes embedded in an organization, or a lack of IT maturity. To mitigate these challenges, the push for IT departments should be to create greater integration by compressing IT silos together, accelerate virtualization and automation, and expand IT self-service options.
Pursuing these initiatives through delivery by cloud technology, IT departments can change the financial dynamic for their organization by addressing IT needs as they arise and build a company tailored infrastructure suite of products and services.
The rapid “uberfication” of IT product and service delivery is one that consumers and employees have already embraced. For an organization, this demands the utilization of cloud-based technology as the IT service delivery platform is a necessity. Employees are already bypassing IT departments that are unable to adapt to this changing environment. Users want custom applications for efficiency in their roles, and this consumerization of IT can portend security risks entering an organization.
A recent statistic demonstrates that 44 percent of security breaches are attributed to known vulnerabilities with existing patches between two and four years old. Many of these incidents occur against the backdrop of IT departments that do not utilize a cloud-based patching protocol to deliver consistency in application updates.
IT departments should not be the department of no, but the department of now. With security challenges increasing and changing, IT departments focusing on hardening their outer perimeter to protect against breaches, should also pay attention to interior threats. This approach involves a simple adage, adopt cloud technology or end users will.
2016 will continue to see technology disruption directed towards delivery mechanisms. IT departments that embrace this dynamic can adopt an innovation mindset and act as drivers of revenue growth, expense control and enhanced bottom-line profit maximization. The sharing economy philosophy is coming to IT, and the coming year will see some of the world’s largest IT departments owning little to no IT hardware and software infrastructure.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Ashley Leonard is the president and CEO of Verismic Software, a global industry leader providing cloud-based IT management technology and green solutions. He is a technology entrepreneur with 25 years of experience in enterprise software, sales, and operational leadership. Leonard worked nearly two decades as a successful senior corporate executive, providing critical leadership during high-growth stages of well-known technology industry pioneers. He founded Verismic in 2012 after successfully selling his former company, NetworkD (News - Alert), an infrastructure management software organization. Leonard currently manages U.S., Australian and European operations, defines corporate strategies, oversees sales and marketing, and guides product development. Leonard works tirelessly to establish Verismic as the leading provider of IT endpoint management solutions delivered from the cloud by building beneficial industry partnerships and creating a strong, innovation-driven culture within the Verismic workforce. Verismic’s latest offering, Cloud Management Suite (CMS), is an agentless, cloud-based IT management software solution that is revolutionizing the way IT professionals engage in endpoint management. For more information, visit www.cloudmanagementsuite.com.