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9 forces shaping the future of IT

Paul Heltzel | July 13, 2017
New technologies and approaches will free IT leaders to cut costs, save time and let machine intelligence do the heavy lifting.

"The pace of change in technology is moving increasingly fast and businesses must keep up to stay competitive," says Rackspace CIO Ryan Neading. "With this greater reliance on the technical underpinning and its impact on the bottom line, IT professionals are evolving to have a greater sense of business and customer acumen. IT is no longer a back office that you call when you need something, they're at the table making decisions and developing strategies that have a direct impact on the business."



Of course, along with opportunities, rapidly changing technology also introduces new problems -- both in identifying holes in security and finding the talent to address them.

"The security threat landscape continues to evolve," says John Mandel, senior vice president of engineering at Continuum. "CIOs and IT departments that didn't focus on these areas are now finding that this is a major risk to their business and need to be diligent in assessing new tools to protect against new threats. The demand is currently outpacing the supply and IT continues to be caught shorthanded."

As this threatscape evolves, IT may see security cease to be an isolated function and instead become an integral element of everyone's job.



As technology becomes an increasingly significant line item across business units, companies will change the way they look at their budgets - and how technology is developed and maintained by the organization as a whole.

In many businesses, cloud-based services, including marketing technology apps, are causing the technology spend to be spread throughout the business. OutSystems' Rotter cites a prediction that caused a stir several years ago by Gartner, which said that by 2017 CMOs would be spending more on technology than CIOs. And now he's actually seeing it happen.

"A lot of it is just that marketing is becoming more dependent on data, and it's becoming central to the way marketers work," Rotter says. "But it's also a very clear condemnation that the tools and technologies that used to support marketing teams are rigid. So, what you're seeing is organizations realizing that. They're building flexible applications on top of those legacy systems."

And the developers who create those applications may not be employed by IT. Instead, they may be hired by the marketing department directly.



The shift in spend doesn't have to mean a complete shift in power. Instead, expect deeper collaboration between IT and other business units.

Carolyn April, senior director of industry analysis at CompTIA, says that, in addition to tech budget being spread around, there's evidence that business divisions are getting better at working together to employ new technology, and, somewhat surprisingly, "rogue" tech adoption may be on the wane.


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