IT transforming to BT - Part I - Business Technology

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Over the last few years specific all it is becoming more apparent that the IT Field is changing. What!?!? That can't be the case. We are all used to technology changing quickly but it isn't the hardware or software that is changing the most any more, it's the expectations of the field.

IT has always been complicated and required people who love and appreciate the field but it's no longer just about how to upgrade to the next technology to embrace the newest features, it's becoming more about the business. One could argue it's always been about the business and it has, but generally the IT Departments try to stay in the shadows, cut costs where they can and most importantly just keep things running. It has always been easier that way. Let's face it, unless you work for a tech company IT is largely viewed as a necessary evil and/or overhead cost.

 

With millennials entering the work force, mobile devices, BYOD the shift has started from just keeping up the infrastructure and help desk support, to being involved in the business itself. What used to be, IT was similar in any business, has evolved to IT becoming BT (Business Technology). This change has brought IT to the table on participating in the corporate strategy. As a result this is allowing IT Departments to be ahead of the curve and work with the business to provide tools to enhance the business versus reactively having to find, fix or retool technology to fix a single problem. This is a welcome change that overall will allow IT to proactively assist in the line of business needs and will also be a cost saving measure.

 

In IT Management it’s not uncommon to find a subset of your user base who is doing one thing because it enhances their process, but is doing it either outside the policy controls of IT, or in direct violation of those controls. As bad as that sounds, in the modern era this is not such a bad thing. You wouldn't want to curb this enthusiasm for working smarter not harder, but at the same juncture need to make sure IT is in the fold, if for no other reason than security. This is where executive management embracing BT is the key. Once the executives realize that the IT Department could be used and staffed in such a way it shifts the culture away from the "evil geek dictatorship" into the customer service friendly professionals that most IT Departments would prefer to be. By bringing IT to the business table it helps provide a fresh perspective on the procedures that are currently being used in the business. That is not to say that any IT professional could run the business better than the other management staff, but IT people are natural born troubleshooters. As a result, we are always looking to streamline, or improve upon processes, thus just being present can sometimes lead to great ideas resulting in an increase in efficiency providing a lower bottom line. At the end of the day it would be fair to say that just as important as it is to IT Management to streamline costs, it's always a welcome sign when we can apply that outside of our field as well to provide a larger impact to the business.