According to a recent Computerworld report, change is happening faster than many anticipated, and IT leaders are facing major challenges as they are pushed into new roles driven by emerging technologies and industry trends.
IT Leaders Looking at Rapid, Systemic Change
After attending the recent Gartner Data Center conference in Las Vegas, the report's author explained that one thing has become extremely clear about the IT sector as a whole - change has happened at a remarkable pace.
In many cases, new technologies emerge, but take decades to become prominent players in any industry. Specialized use and early adapters help a new technological tool gain the reputation necessary to expand to large-scale adoption. This has not been the case, for the most part, with emerging trends like cloud computing and big data.
The news source explained that the cloud, big data and similar solutions have combined to completely transform IT operations in a matter of just four or five years. During this time, IT departments have shifted from having their primary role focus on day-to-day management and maintenance for hardware and software to focusing more on strategic operations.
In the past, IT teams would have had to not only support critical applications and services, but also figure out ways to establish backup and recovery solutions. In the contemporary IT climate, more organizations are outsourcing those secondary issues like backup and recovery and asking IT to focus more precisely on mission-critical functions, the report explained.
All of these trends have combined to contribute to operational changes in the IT department. The news source said that many IT teams are now focusing more on software and services instead of on hardware. Similarly, buying patterns have moved away from infrastructure and toward services as the focal point. These factors have formed an IT setup in which professionals are no longer fulfilling maintenance roles and instead have the opportunity to align technology with business strategies.
While moving from a support role to a strategic one could be attractive for IT, handling more services and focusing on business alignment also means more change. Having advanced help desk software or service desk solutions in place can be key when supporting this transition.
Handling the Pace of Change in the Contemporary IT Department
Change management becomes a critical capability as IT teams attempt to support business demands. With agile development in place, dev teams can quickly and efficiently update and patch solutions to better align them with end-user requirements. This, combined with the increased dependence on software and services, leaves IT workers with an almost continuous release and deployment cycle. As such, being able to handle change and support efficient release management is critical in contemporary IT setups.
On top of all of this, the rise of cloud computing and managed hosting as a cure-all to many internal IT problems has created a new dynamic in which many IT teams must manage application updates, releases and changes across multiple environments. This means that any change and release processes need to be performed in conjunction with one another across a variety of configurations. Having the scheduling and management tools in place to coordinate these activities is essential, making a robust help desk, advanced service desk or even a service management platform necessary for many businesses.