Once upon a time in a land not so far away, it was possible for just a handful of people to run all things IT. Anyone under thirty just rolled their eyes! However this is fact, not a fairy story.
Today however, there are so many more components to an IT department – LAN, WAN, desktop computers, laptops, tablets, smartphones, applications, hardware, the internet, big data, analytics and the list goes on. It is just not possible for a few to have all the knowledge and the skills to run the whole shop.
Business needs have changed dramatically over the last twenty years and this has also dictated how technology is used within an organisation.
To keep costs down, productivity up and remain competitive it is necessary to be smarter in using all one’s assets and resources, including people.
Running IT should no longer be “just” looking after the infrastructure and the applications and everything in between. Running IT should be looking at how all the pieces can fit together and if they don’t, find out why or find an alternative. It is not cost effective anymore to have parts running in isolation. Isn’t this what unified communications is all about?
More importantly running IT is about output, what can be learned from all the input? The output is the most valuable element. So time should be spent on the data, the reporting, the analytics and the intelligence, the information to be fed back into the organisation.
This is where cloud computing and running IT are not in competition but are complementary. While many of the functions of IT are automated, it is still necessary to maintain the infrastructure, monitor the performance of the applications, install upgrades, distribute resources to support changes in workloads and have alerts to potential future problems. No small task.
Moving those activities to the cloud for someone else to manage makes a great deal of sense. Your partner in the cloud will not know and need not know as much about the business as the internal IT department does. They just need to know enough to ensure effective service levels and they need to be the service provision to be guided by those in the know, internal IT.
This is the sales pitch to running IT – being the lynch pin between the service provider and the end users within the organisation, the IT customers. This is key for IT – recognising all the end users of the technology as their customers, from the C-Suite to the front desk. Understand the customer’s requirements, what they need to achieve, do a darn good job of delivering what they need to achieve their goals and your customers will recognise you as their provider of choice.