Will Information Technology Departments Exist in the Future?

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According to a statement on InfoWorld‘s website, information technology (IT) departments won’t exist in the future! Obviously, this caught my eye—as it should for anyone who works in the IT field. Of course we have all heard statements like this before only to see the five-year or ten-year mark come and go; the changes predicted did not come to fruition. So is this InfoWorld statement any different?

Brandon Porco, chief technologist and solutions architect at Northrop Grumman, makes this bold statement at the CITE Conference and Expo: "The business itself will be the IT department. [Technologists] will simply be the enabler." This statement is further detailed in an article on Citeworld.com, explaining the consumerization of IT and how business will be the driver of technology—not the IT group that currently exists today.

This is a lot of information to digest so let’s take a step back and look at the concept of the consumerization of IT. Unisys has been looking at this for several years and defines it as the blending of personal and business technology to do one’s job. Unisys has a great blog that dives deeper into other areas of this topic.

On LinkedIn the InfoWorld article is discussed in great length by many IT industry folks, with opinions ranging from “I have heard this before over the last 30 years” to “We are constantly redefining ourselves in IT” to “The article is meant as a spark to get the conversation started.” I was intrigued by the discussion and wanted to dig deeper into this topic.

I searched for the following in Google: “Where will information technology be in five years?” The first article in my search was on zdnet.com from 2011. The article writer mentioned consumerization, amongst other things, as a trend of the future. He also mentioned the idea of “shadow IT,” a cool word for users bringing their own technology into the workplace, i.e. Bring Your Own Device (BYOD).

At this point I feel the best question to ask is this: Is this idea of consumerization simply a fad? I found a really good answer on citeworld.com. The author makes some very valid points, and the main one is: As IT professionals we are needed now more than ever to shape this trend—not to hope it goes away.

Will you simply deny this trend at your workplace or will you be a thought leader and embrace the change?

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Joe Townsend

Joe Townsend has been in the configuration management field for twelve years. He has worked for CNA Life Insurance, RCA, Boeing, UPS, and in state government. Joe has primarily worked with Serena tools, including PVCS Version Manager, Tracker, TeamTrack (Mashups), and Dimensions. He is an administrator for WebFocus and supports Eclipse users.