Role of IT evolving from business function to business advantage
A look at 4 trends that will contribute to how we live with IT in 2015
FOR the last 30 years, war has raged between the business unit head and chief information officer (CIO). Conflict has been fuelled by the perception of missed business advantages, dwindling IT budgets, and the consumerisation of technology.
The role of IT is being driven by the changing needs of enterprises and a rising end-user expectation of an evolution from business function to business advantage.
Every operation is now reliant on IT. Workers yearn for a connected, mobile world in which all they need is readily available and easy to manoeuvre. Similarly, customers demand responsiveness, along with support via web, social and cloud applications.
Four trends will contribute to how we live with IT in 2015.
Rise of bimodal IT
New technologies, coupled with rapidly-evolving business models and work practices, are inspiring companies to consider digital transformation – but it’s inhibited by legacy IT infrastructure.
This is especially true for businesses in developed parts of Asia, many of which invested heavily in hardware prior to the cloud.
We are now seeing demand for bimodal IT, by which enterprises innovate at the edges while operating from within their core legacy systems.
This is giving rise to hybrid models, as CIOs balance business priorities with digital transformation.
The challenge then is for the business to industrialise its backend to get the most out of resources available, while avoiding unnecessary expense, outages and degraded performance.
Humanising enterprise IT
Friction has historically existed between IT and consumers of IT. Of course, lines of business realise the critical role IT plays in revenue generation, but a mismatch exists between the level of IT service delivery required by the business and what it actually gets from IT service delivery teams.
The way IT service is delivered to the workforce needs to change from top-down to user-centric.
Workers want more than a slick user interface. They demand an amazing user experience and want an integration of services, content and knowledge that empowers them to work from anywhere, anytime on any device.
But such a user-centric approach must suit enterprise aims and address concerns – from strategy through to operations.
IT consumerisation continues maturing
Google’s recent Consumer Barometer tells us Asia’s dependence on mobile devices continues to grow. Smartphones represent the only connected device owned by more than 24% of the population in nations such as Malaysia and Vietnam.
When enterprises think about digital transformation, they also need to consider security and a user interface for business applications. These must work fast and never fail in a mobile world.
Asia’s mobile mentality is a perfect fit for the concept of an intelligent, dynamic and collaborative workplace.
For example, location-based applications can turn offices into interactive, IT-supported environments via features such as Global Positioning System (GPS), floor maps and points of interest.
Key design strategies will evolve in new and innovative ways, as digital services continue to mature.
Moving to Cloud 2.0
Most organisations in Asia Pacific have now developed an initial cloud strategy, as shown by the 2014 Cloud Readiness Index (CRI). Many are using external cloud services – infrastructure, platform or application based – to build private clouds.
Forward-thinking businesses, however, are prepared to move to a more sophisticated next-generation cloud model to satisfy a broader range of business needs.
Next-generation clouds will be driven by a business discussion about the services consumers of IT want from a cloud platform.
This will lead to more collaborative and productive IT/business relationships – and ultimately, greater cloud adoption.
Gavin Selkirk is president of BMC Asia Pacific. BMC Software Inc is a Houston, Texas-based business management software specialist.
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