I reckon that IT is diverging into two separate streams – firstly mission critical systems, that must be highly reliable and resilient. Secondly non-critical systems that are being democratised. I don’t think any of us want to use medical or financial systems that are user generated, not tested and not highly secure and fault tolerant? But for other business systems I see socialprise as taking over.
So we see the divergence. Where high levels of reliability, redundancy and resilience are required IT departments & engineers are critical. But for the rest roll on the revolution!
Corollary: IT departments will get smaller & become irrelevant …
The important thing that web technology is now enabling is ordinary people can generate, change and control it without need for many specialists. This means that business units can control their own technological destiny.
Also things like SaaS will continue to change the game. Thus economies of scale that old time IT departments delivered will become less relevant. They will become less relevant because to deliver economies of scale you remove freedom, choice and control from the business. Up until now the business people just had to live with it. Now they are beginning to have viable, cost effective & reliable alternatives.
We should see some interesting battles between IT fighting a rearguard action against this phenomenon and the business units pushing ahead so they can achieve their business goals.
Scott Adams is not really joking in Dilbert when he refers to the IT department representative as “Mordac preventer of information services”.
NB: Caveat on all of this is exclusion of mission critical systems from above.
By Carruthers via Aide-mémoire