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Fri 27 Oct 2006 08:00 PM

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Tech strategies will face shake-up, warns analyst

Globalisation will push change, Gartner claims

Globalisation, security concerns and changes in the development of communities are all shaking up how organisations make the most of their IT efforts.

The way that organisations manage technology will change more in the next five years than it has in the past 15, a senior analyst at research firm Gartner claims.

According to John Mahoney, chief of research for IT management at Gartner, companies are moving away from traditional models of IT management into new types of IT organisation.

“Whereas now there are probably half a dozen models of ways businesses organise technology often around a corporate IT organisation, what is going to happen in the future is much more plural, there is much more variation,” he told IT Weekly last week in an exclusive interview.

“Some businesses will stick with that centralised planning model, [but] more and more of the ones that are using technology to drive forward the frontier of their strategy will start to divide the IT organisation into two pieces: one that will continue to focus on technology and the other that will focus on creating business value around assets of processes and information fused with technology. Yet others will take a wholly different path where IT will be embedded as part of every other activity and there won’t be a separate IT department at all,” he predicted.

Globalisation, market forces, security concerns, and changing development of communities will all challenge the way businesses use technology in the future, Mahoney claimed.

Changing demographics of organisations will also be a factor, he added, as the baby boomer generation retires and what he terms ‘digital natives’, people who have used computers throughout their lives, join the workforce.

“Add the different drivers together and you have not one single driver but a whole combination of slow moving forces that create a tipping point and take us into new territory,” Mahoney said.

For IT service providers, the change in management organisation will mean that they have to re-evaluate their value proposition, he said.

“For IT vendor organisations, the nature of the offering does change. It almost begins to challenge the question of what does it mean to be an IT company when the more important question is not what technology should I buy but how can I use it?” Mahoney said.

What this will mean, he said, is that there will be a different proposition around the creation of business value around technologies and capabilities with three business assets: business information, business process and business relationship.

“I think we will see more IT type companies take the path of IBM; which is they become a business services company and they see less and less distinction between being an IT service company and between being a business service company,” Mahoney argued.

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