The Evolving Role of the IT Organization

 
 
By Michael Vizard  |  Posted 04-11-2014 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

While most IT organizations aspire to play a strategic role when it comes to consulting with the business, there may come a day when that is its only primary function. A new survey of 1,300 senior IT leaders conducted by Vanson Bourne on behalf of CA Technologies makes it clear that the role of the IT organization is transforming, but there's not much consensus about the rate at which that transformation is occurring. CIOs, for example, believe they are exercising more control over that transformation than the rest of their IT colleagues. The general consensus, however, is that the control of IT functions will increasingly move to the lines of business. The challenge facing CIOs and their teams is how the IT organization can play a more strategic role, especially as many of the tactical tasks they focus on today continue to diminish in importance. Naturally, there a lot of debate as to whether IT organizations can achieve that strategic goal. However, one indication that this evolution is already occurring is the simple fact that, as the study notes, the vast majority of CIOs now report directly to the CEO.

 
 
 
  • Does the CIO Report to the CEO?

    Many CIOs have finally gained that long-cherished seat at the executive management table. Yes: 71%, No: 29%
    Does the CIO Report to the CEO?
  • Role of IT: The CIO View

    The majority of CIOs believe they exercise a fair amount of control. IT provides all required services to the business: 79%, IT's role won't change in five years: 43%, IT is fundamental to the organization's success: 25%, Primary role of IT: drive new business initiatives: 10%, Primary role of IT: develop new and innovative services: 7%
    Role of IT: The CIO View
  • The Role of IT: The Non-CIO View

    IT professionals who are not a CIO have a more pessimistic view., IT provides all required services to the business: 56%, IT is fundamental to the organization's success: 41%, IT's role won't change in five years: 24%, Primary role of IT: drive new business initiatives: 15%, Primary role of IT: develop new and innovative services: 12%
    The Role of IT: The Non-CIO View
  • Control of the IT Budget

    During the next three years the majority of respondents expect line of business to exercise more control over IT budgets. Controlled by IT today: 65%, Controlled by line of business today: 35%, Controlled by IT in three years: 56%, Controlled by line of business in three years: 44%
    Control of the IT Budget
  • What IT Does for the Business

    Clearly a shift is under way in terms of IT's responsibilities. IT provides all required apps and services for the business on premise and in the cloud: 61%, IT acts as service broker and advises the business: 29%, IT acts as a consultant to the business but not the sourcing: 10%
    What IT Does for the Business
  • Frequency of Use of IT Management Tools

    Most of the focus in terms of frequently used IT tools appears to be on tactical issues. Scenario planning and what-if analysis: 53%, Assessing current investments and deployments: 39%, Evaluating key performance metrics: 37%, Sharing key performance metrics with the business: 31%, Looking at the impact of shifts in investments: 27%
    Frequency of Use of IT Management Tools
  • Role of IT in Five Years

    Five years from now, the IT department will exercise more indirect control. Some IT functions will move to other departments but IT will be its own unit: 34%, Stay the same as today: 28%, Most IT functions will move to other departments but IT will be its own unit: 17%, All IT functions will be incorporated into line of business: 13%, All IT functions will be outsourced: 8%
    Role of IT in Five Years
  • Primary Technical Tasks for IT Department

    Many of the tactical functions that IT mostly focuses on today will be reduced in three years. Today; Three Years from Now, Ensuring critical data is secure: 50%, 43%, Maintaining organization's infrastructure and apps: 41%, 35%, Providing technology support to employees: 40%, 32%, Fixing problems as and when they arrive: 34%, 34%
    Primary Technical Tasks for IT Department
  • Primary Business Role of the IT Department

    It will take some time but IT organizations see themselves becoming more strategic. Today, Three Years from Now, Strategic business partner and advisor: 30%, 35%, Improving customer experience: 29%, 35%, Broker for IT services: 20%, 17%, Driver of new business initiatives: 14%, 25%, Developer of innovative products and services: 11%, 17%
    Primary Business Role of the IT Department
  • How IT Budget Gets Allocated

    There's a concerted effort to drive maintenance as percentage of the IT budget lower. Today, Three Years from Now, New services: 49%, 59%, Maintenance: 51%, 41%
    How IT Budget Gets Allocated
  • Most Impactful Technologies

    With the exception of virtualization, what IT obsesses about today will stay largely the same. Today, Three Years from Now, Cloud computing: 51%, 54%, Mobile computing: 34%, 40%, Big data: 31%, 37%, Business intelligence and analytics: 31%, 25%, Social media: 28%, 27%, Virtualization: 26%, 18%
    Most Impactful Technologies
  • IT Response to Emerging Technologies

    Absorbing new technologies is usually more about process than products. Provide more training: 45%, Align closer to the business: 43%, Strengthen relationship with executive management: 42%, Hire new people: 41%, Shift budget from maintenance to new initiatives: 31%, Educate executive management: 27%
    IT Response to Emerging Technologies
 
 
 
 
 
Mike Vizard has been covering IT issues in the enterprise for 25 years as an editor and columnist for publications such as InfoWorld, eWeek, Baseline, CRN, ComputerWorld and Digital Review.

 
 
 
 
 
 

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