Due to the changes above, IT will preside over technology that directly impacts the experience of the customer (internal as well as external), as well as the business’s ability to make more informed decisions. Therefore, two changes will happen at the strategy level.
One, the business will treat IT as a value generator rather than an overhead.
Two, as digital begins to influence business strategy as well as IT, the IT function will have to adopt a more business savvy approach to the development of its own strategy. This will probably be aligned to the appointment of a CDO (Chief Digital Officer).
The IT function will serve two distinct and contrasting purposes; to ‘keep the lights on’ in relation to current services, and to rapidly deliver innovative IT services to meet changing business and user needs and leverage new technologies.
To do this, the IT function will be structured differently. The more traditional function will be relatively much smaller, as most applications and infrastructure will be outsourced. Innovation Management Teams will provide the ability to assess and adopt new technology seamlessly.
The traditional IT function will become more devolved. The central IT function will have less control as operational and business intelligence software drive efficiencies across the enterprise, resulting in different, decentralised governance structures.
Operating in a two-mode state – finding the optimum balance between agility and innovation, and stability and security – will be paramount.
There will be considerably fewer legacy systems managed by the IT department of the future, as these typically cause unwanted risks and issues and take up valuable time and resources to maintain. What can be moved to the cloud will be; other departments might use an ‘app store’ to purchase or access applications from the cloud.
The tolerance to failure will be lower and a ‘fail-fast’ approach to new systems will prevail. Agile development and rapid change will be the key to ensuring success in a digital world.