Futurists have been fore-telling the look of the business enterprise and the IT Department for years. The latest version from the Corporate Executive Board state that we are in for rapid, radical change. It fore-tells that the IT Department in 5 years will bear little resemblance to the IT Department of today. As business users become more tech savvy, the business units will absorb a lot of today’s IT functions. Along with continued IT outsourcing, they predict that only 25% of today's IT professionals will still be in IT in 5 years.
The CTO blog does not forecast such a dismal future for the IT professional, but it also acknowledges the need for better alignment with business strategic goals and faster IT solutions delivery.
Whereas, I will not completely buy in to the idea that 75% of today’s IT professionals will not be working in IT in 5 years or that change will be so rapid or radical. It is increasingly apparent that change in IT solution delivery is necessary, and that is where I suggest that business organizations start; in particular IT Governance.
I hope to see today’s IT Governance Committee, which approve and prioritize IT business solutions projects, replaced with a Business Improvement Project Review Board who approve and prioritize all business improvement projects. This new Governance Body will consider all business improvement projects; those with business solutions and those with IT solutions. As I mentioned a few weeks ago this new board needs to better track all projects and continue to give its support to all projects at every stage of the project. Once the cost of the project outweigh the benefits, or other external forces make continuance of the project unwise, the project can be stopped and decrease the expense to the organization.
Along with that we will see the idea of a Project Management Office (PMO) replaced with a Business Improvement Office (BIO). The BIO will be staffed with people with business backgrounds and those with IT backgrounds; however, cross-training and best practices will require all members of the BIO to look for the best solution, considering both business and IT solutions, to meet the needs of the business. The BIO will take over the project management, business analysis and quality assurance aspects of a project.
Continued competitive pressures will force the BIO to change its practices in order to achieve faster solution delivery. Some will embrace the Agile methodology; others will develop some hybrid methodology taking parts from both the Agile and Waterfall methodologies. However they achieve it, continued pressures for competitive advantage will require continual improvement in the methodology to push for faster and faster delivery while not sacrificing quality.
Many references now forecast a change to IT Departments and IT staffing as we know it today. It will be interesting to see the changes as they come about and see which forecast was most correct.