To keep pace with the constant change that is overwhelming almost every area of the IT industry, IT departments are adapting.
Stringent IT departments must selectively decide where their time and efforts are best directed. It’s observed that less time is being spent on operational tasks and more time on higher value strategic activities, such as consulting with non-IT staff, introducing new technology tools for staff and managing IT service partners.
IT as a service broker is a model which sees IT acting as consultants to the business, understanding business needs and objectives, and then sourcing technology services from both internal and external partners. In this role, IT staff consults with non-IT colleagues to understand their business needs and objectives. IT then sources technology services, (often cloud based) from inside or outside the company to solve business problems, rather than building or maintaining home grown IT solutions.
As more business resources and technology infrastructures migrate to the cloud for online delivery, the most progressive IT departments that operate like service brokers will continue to expand their remit and offer more strategic value to their business partners.
According to latest large scale research, currently, more than one-third (35 percent) of companies’ IT departments act primarily as service brokers, sourcing IT services (often cloud based) from inside or outside the company to solve business problems. The role of service broker is accelerating. Among companies whose IT departments act primarily as brokers, 58 percent report they will expand the role of the IT department as service brokers in the next 12 months. In the same survey, they also found that fewer than one in four executives say IT staff regularly suggests new technology solutions on their own, but, 63 percent of business unit leaders expect the IT department to have more influence on technology decisions in the future.
Another interesting finding from recent research is that 37 percent of budgets allocated in 2014 for technology investments are now controlled by departments other than IT. So you can see that these departments will need to consult with their IT department to get the best and most suitable technology for their budgets. Information Technology will be seen as a business enabler. To make this shift, business leaders want IT to build skills in key areas that will help them source technologies that solve business problems for employees, customers and partners.
In the future, companies are expected use their IT teams as strategic advisors and managers of IT service partners. We can expect to see the influence of IT departments to grow and to wield greater influence within their companies, contributing more to accomplishing core business directives. New IT skills will be in demand, new outside partners will be brought in.