IT functionaries will have a larger role to play in the future. As all IT and non IT project gets centralized at the enterprise level, and delivered through the cloud to the remote and the local employees, IT will cease to be a supportive function and emerge as a mainstream function. The IT manager or the CIO will perform a business function and participate in enterprise decision making in unprecedented ways. The IT infrastructure, including scalable clouds will be designed to provide the required shared services, standards and controls that drive business units and help create new customer requirements around the way in which projects are managed.
The enterprise centric IT/ cloud infrastructure will be focused on consolidation and centralized control. Business resources will be used to staff technology end points and the business manager along with the cloud service provider will jointly ensure compliance with standards, controls and legal mandates. Business will integrate with technology until the distinctions have to be forced to remain visible.
The new staffing model that is emerging with cloud technologies has facilitated the development of distributed company footprints. The dispersed staff use, powerful portable devices to secure network access from virtually anywhere, at any time. Traditional offsite office is becoming a memory and new workplace paradigms are unfolding. Telecommuting, working from home or anywhere else is becoming common, and perfectly acceptable to enterprises. Employees are also transforming themselves into knowledge workers.
Organizations that are reaping the benefits of riding the cloud recognize that task; people and technology management are intricately linked together and cloud resources can be deployed effectively, using available cloud software. The cloud framework must be used to support the new ways of communicating, collaborating and reporting.
At the other end of the business spectrum, consumers are changing their preferences. Their expectations from services are being changed by availability of cloud technology and the Internet. Simple web browser based applications are being designed to reach out to and communicate with customers who want to interact with the business from within their homes. Both consumers and employees are demanding active, rather than passive, tools that enable the interaction. These changes have not happened overnight. They have evolved with the cloud and related technologies.
IT managers and CIOs who have been resisting or succumbing to the changes will have to acknowledge that their work is being transformed. They are no longer at the periphery of the business. They have a significant role to play in organization development and goal realization.