Your next boss may not be the CIO, or any other IT manager for that matter

Your next boss may not be the CIO, or any other IT manager for that matter

Summary: IT departments on organizations' hit lists for extinction, but don't worry -- IT skills are needed more than ever.

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TOPICS: IT Priorities
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IT departments may soon become an extinct species in organizations. Not because organizations are downplaying information technology, but because organizations are essentially large IT departments in and of themselves.

That's one of the views to emerge from the recent CITE Conference, documented by ComputerWorld's Lucas Mearian, who has posted some very compelling pieces lately on the evolution of IT management, pointing out that it's highly likely that IT departments will not exist in five years, and IT managers and professionals will be playing new types of roles in their organizations.

As Brandon Porco, chief technologist & solutions architect at Northrop Grumman, so bluntly put it:"The business itself will be the IT department. [Technologists] will simply be the enabler."

As the major analyst firms keep predicting, many IT functions are being subsumed into line-of-business units. For example, it's being widely predicted that chief marketing officers will soon have larger technology budgets than CIOs.

Where does this leave CIOs and IT professionals? More essential than ever, because corporate strategies now rely on digitization to attain and retain competitiveness. Porco says that CIOs are evolving away from technologists and toward "technology forecasters and strategists."

(Thumbnail photo credit: Joe McKendrick.)

Topic: IT Priorities

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6 comments
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  • Problem in education and priority

    The biggest problem here is business methodology. The traditional MBA should have been replaced with the Information System equivalent years ago. This would work if the business manager have the appropriate level of knowledge in IT. If not the business will and should fail. Most business will always have IT departments because many managers (not all and the percentage is improving) know very little about that computer thingy.
    alex_darkness
  • Mixed feelings

    As an IT worker the best managers i have had were the non-technical ones. The ones that knew something about tech micromanaged everyone to the point of misery for all. Only the ones that have been in tha game for more than a decade would be competent for such a job description the article proposes.
    ammohunt
  • Yeah but will their 457s be valid????

    As what you may call an "itinerant IT worker" who, unfortunately for me does NOT qualify for a 457 because I was born and bred in Australia, I have to say your next boss may not only be not well qualified to be in the position (which doesnt always matter depending on the boss) but may well be either an itinerante IT worker from another country or someone working the 457 route to become a permanent citizen. Why? Cheaper to use 457 workers than to give Australians jobs.

    So, while the boss may not be an IT worker of any sort nor even IT savvy, he just as easily could be a foreign national here for a short time on a 457 that keeps getting extended "for a short time".

    Dont expect employment in IT as a newbie to the industry unless your grades are so near perfection that you cannot be ignored. In the not too distant future, when you become aged - that is 40 and above, expect the same thing to happen. It has already been rumoured to happen at a large search engine company so why not Australia wide? After all, why pay YOU long service and holidays? 457 workers are cheaper!
    greg-w-h
  • work as one Team

    Work as a Team is key to successful Organization because each member has strength can help other member to bring the best in all. Work as part of family in organization where each member are valued.
    salnaib
  • Five years, come on

    There is already a problem with IT management not having the appropriate technical background to manage, well, technical things.
    B.A.
  • Having served under a non-IT manager before...

    I will say that business people in charge of IT can go one of two ways.

    1. They run IT like a business.
    1.a. Any part of the organization seen as a "money-sink" (no or little Return On Investment) gets scaled back. This particularly applies to ITSM groups (ie, Change, Problem, Config, Release Mgmt groups).
    1.b. "Just in time" becomes the rule instead of the exception. Most requests for work are submitted to IT with just enough time to get a "first draft" done and no time for QA. IT is expected to implement as soon as the code is ready because it is "business critical" on the following day. Etc.
    1.c. And the list goes on.

    or

    2. The new management realizes they don't know IT or its requirements and defers to the judgement and advice of the teams.
    This is not the likely scenario.

    Of the 3 times I have had a business person as manager (or, most recently, a VP and the CIO himself), they usually discount any idea that IT *can't* be made to operate like the business side of the house. This is especially tragic to IT when senior executives (technically *IN* IT) think that IT is "just there to fulfill business requests." The company I was in was not a happy place for an IT worker for several years - until the CIO and 50% of the senior staff (directors and above) were replaced.
    gevander