Organisational revolution under way
As the world enters the information era, an organisational revolution is under way, spurred by the evolution of IT departments.
This was the word from Brett Dunn, team lead for enterprise system engineers at EMC Southern Africa, when addressing the ITWeb Cloud Computing Summit in Bryanston yesterday.
"We have entered the information era, where creating value from information is the new economy," said Dunn. With the advent of cloud computing, IT departments must now learn to compete for their internal customers."
Thus, he believes organisations must prepare their people by talking openly about cloud computing, while fostering collaboration and creating incentives for them to become multi-skilled.
Describing the three typical approaches organisations take regarding cloud computing, Dunn said, previously, IT was responsible for building its own home-grown 'cloud'. However, he said, this approach fails to engage with the business and also does not address people or process issues.
In the second approach, everything goes to an external cloud, with IT becoming solely a broker, raising valid concerns around risks associated with cloud computing, he explained.
In the final approach, IT learns to compete; IT invests in transformation, becomes the internal service provider and owns the business relationship.
According to Dunn, business transformation through IT transformation is much harder, but more rewarding.
He added that, despite incredible improvements in cost, efficiency, quality of service and agility, business units are sourcing IT alternatives.
In most cases, he noted, IT remains hard to do business with; IT funding models get in the way; or IT still appears as a collection of tech silos as opposed to a solution provider.
"We avoid 'selling' our services out of fear that we will create demand we cannot fulfil. We perpetuate custom engagements versus driving a mindset of standardised enterprise services," he said.