IT as we know it is over, but the next wave of enterprise technology will be bigger, more compelling, and more rewarding, says Johna Till Johnson, co-founder of Nemertes Research. How dramatic are the changes in your IT department? Tell us by posting a comment below. Writing in Network World, Johnson notes that more than 90 percent of IT organizations use some form of managed, hosted or cloud services.
Yes, IT — at least as we've known it for approximately 25 years — is indeed transforming. But far from becoming a commodity, technology is more important than ever. Businesses, schools, and governments desperately need tech-savvy managers who can innovate quickly, operationalize effectively, and keep their organizations competitive. In other words, IT is being replaced by "enterprise technology" (ET): technology that's no longer confined to offices and office workers, but is embedded throughout the enterprise.
ET is the combination of technologies that enables embedded and networked intelligence, which includes everything from smartphones and wireless sensor networks to organic LEDs, enhanced battery technologies, quantum computing and Big Data. In the past, MIS was about optimizing back-office functions. Eventually it lost out to IT, which empowered knowledge workers. ET is about the constant flow of information that can be used to make every slice of an organization perform more effectively and efficiently. As ET brings in technologies that are outside the purview of traditional IT departments, it's on the verge of conquering IT. That means that if you're in IT, you have to become a master of the technologies that deliver an unprecedented ability for enterprises to optimize, accelerate and control core business functions. You must transparently integrate and support the standalone technologies that together comprise the ET ecosystem. You don't want to be like that old-time MIS director who failed to adapt.