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Roadmaps for the IT shop’s evolution

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I got emailed  a question asking if I could blog on the more mundane but very important topic of what an average IT shop should do today around the ‘evolution’ of its existing IT. The challenge of new technology and the disruptive change it brings, together with the needs to understand and plan, or even try to gain control of end-users implementations were fully accepted But right now, the pressing question is for a sensible road map for the next year or so around what the IT department would be tasked to deliver to the business.

I do get this point very much and have this mapped out as 4 headings:

  • Infrastructure
  • Integration
  • Intelligence
  • Innovation
In fact I should point out that the 4 headings were first identified by Ray Wang of Constellation Consulting slightly more than a year ago, but I can’t find this particular blog post so I will just have to recommend Ray’s Insider Blog as worth reading instead. I have extended these headings into a full set of nine steps for each, but before detailing this, it would be good to compare what various surveys of business and IT say what the issues for 2012 are.

Gartner is usually considered the benchmark to start with and they published the following in order of priority together with some other observations that can be seen on the CIOinsights website

Frankly it’s difficult to know what to make of these changes except to point out the obvious around infrastructure and cost management. Plus that everyone wants more business intelligence, and the hype of business making new demands each year around social tools and mobile as part of the new wave of technologies. Having started this, I guess I better complete the picture by providing the same survey priorities but for business managers. Interestingly, the business goals have stayed the same for the last two years and are firmly connected to front office and external uses of technology – the disruptive element.

Not a bad justification for where and why for the focus of my blog but what to make of this for an IT shop challenged with the normality of its operating role?

Frankly it can only be about building a strong foundation to deliver what is required today and to embrace the increasing shift towards standardization to allow as much flexibility in the future as possible. In other words, clouds were described as SaaS, IaaS or PaaS; all examples of using the technology as a cost reducing mechanism for current IT rather than as part of the web-based services disruption, BUT is also dependant on using standardization as much as possible too!

So coming back to the 4 themes: why Infrastructure, Integration, intelligence, and Innovation? Because back in the end of 2010 they were right to support the direction of IT, and in 2012 they are still representative of the basic building blocks to get right. And given such a turbulent period, there was pretty good reason and recommendation to use these as the stable building blocks to work on.

So here you have the roadmap.

A Roadmap for an IT Shop’s evolution


About the author

Andy Mulholland
Andy Mulholland
Capgemini Global Chief Technology Officer until his retirement in 2012, Andy was a member of the Capgemini Group management board and advised on all aspects of technology-driven market changes, together with being a member of the Policy Board for the British Computer Society. Andy is the author of many white papers, and the co-author three books that have charted the current changes in technology and its use by business starting in 2006 with ‘Mashup Corporations’ detailing how enterprises could make use of Web 2.0 to develop new go to market propositions. This was followed in May 2008 by Mesh Collaboration focussing on the impact of Web 2.0 on the enterprise front office and its working techniques, then in 2010 “Enterprise Cloud Computing: A Strategy Guide for Business and Technology leaders” co-authored with well-known academic Peter Fingar and one of the leading authorities on business process, John Pyke. The book describes the wider business implications of Cloud Computing with the promise of on-demand business innovation. It looks at how businesses trade differently on the web using mash-ups but also the challenges in managing more frequent change through social tools, and what happens when cloud comes into play in fully fledged operations. Andy was voted one of the top 25 most influential CTOs in the world in 2009 by InfoWorld and is grateful to readers of Computing Weekly who voted the Capgemini CTOblog the best Blog for Business Managers and CIOs each year for the last three years.

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