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How Can IT Keep up with the Pace of Change?

New research shows the role of IT is changing -- and not always to the benefit of IT

New research commissioned by CA Technologies and conducted by Vanson Bourne shows the role of IT is changing -- and not to benefit IT leaders in many cases. The survey of 1,300 senior IT leaders worldwide revealed 39% of respondents now see IT as a service broker or consultant to the line of business rather than a full-service provider of all IT services; and 35% of IT spending is occurring outside of the IT department today - and that number is expected to grow to 44% in three years. Other disturbing findings show that just 11% see the role of IT as a developer of new, innovative services and only 14% consider IT as a driver of new business initiatives.

One of the key takeaways I see in the research results is that the whole notion that IT is responsible for governing the pace of change has been irrevocably broken. Arguably, that was one of the things that IT did in an organization -- put the processes and procedures in place so that the adoption of new technologies happened in a smooth, orderly manner that ensured the safety and security of the organization's core information resources.

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and the rapid changes happening in consumer-driven technology make it impossible for IT to hold back the pace of change anymore. How can you have a year-long process to vet new software, when there is a new version of the software released every other day?

But the pace of change has finally reached the point where it is impossible for IT to hold back the community of people who want to consume technology at their own pace -- and IT finds itself in a completely new role. IT now has to adapt quickly and safely to new technologies. It has to be a consultant to the organizations and the people that are trying to consume those technologies on the best way to do it, safely and effectively.

That is a higher bar for the IT organization to reach, and I think it is a more valuable role for the IT organization to play. But that has some important implications on the skills, budget, and organization of the IT department, all of which are explored in more detail in the TechInsights Report: The Changing Role of IT and What to Do About It, a new white paper based on the results of this survey. IT leaders should carefully consider the advice detailed in the paper about the actions they should be taking now to remain relevant in this new world of IT.

More Stories By Jackie Kahle

Jackie is a 30-year veteran of the IT industry and has held senior management positions in marketing, business development, and strategic planning for major systems, software, and services companies including Hewlett-Packard, Compaq, and Gartner. She currently manages the strategy and execution of CA Technologies thought leadership programs. Jackie has an MBA from the Whittemore School, University of New Hampshire, a BA in Mathematics from New York University and is the Vice-Chair of the N.H. State Council on the Arts.