Monday, November 29, 2010

The Future of IT

ZapThink has an interesting article out on the looming Enterprise App Vendor Crisis. The article is really a continuation of several thoughts that ZapThink has on the state of the IT organization and its role in the modern business world. The overall underlying theme is that IT organizations are undergoing a major change that will result in a substantially different appearance in the next few years.

The article offer a lot of insightful and rational points in its trek back to 2004 and back to present day. For those of us who work in "The IT Shop" I think we can see the reality of the predictions in small doses. It's probably a reasonable assumption to make that most understand these type of predictions are generally made with a broad stroke. There are literally thousands of IT shops and businesses so sweeping generalizations must be applied when making predictions.

One issue I think most analysts have is that they generally are interacting with the facade layer of a given organization. The guts of an organization and how it really operates is generally hidden from external view. Of course this is a generalization as well on my part but I think a fairly valid one based upon my experiences. This really isn't the fault of the analyst.

There are a significant number of analyst engagements that are initiated by senior level staff within either the IT group or a line of business within an organization. The reasons can vary for these engagements but a common theme is usually checking your direction/thoughts on strategy, projects etc with that of an expert(s) external to your organization. It's really not a bad idea when you think about it however the problem develops in your presentation of yourself.

This leads us back to our external analysts. Analyst engage and work with an organization based on a highly filtered view of that organization. Organizations just like the people that work in them tend to present themselves in a very favorable light. ZapThink's predictions resonate with me and have logical progression. The issue I think is that the predictions are based upon a state that in most cases is actually not known.

IT still has a very bright future in the modern business world. It will change over time as ZapThink suggest but that rate of change will be much slower and will probably fork off the predicted path many times just as evolution tends to do.