SCC has warned that the UK’s technology leaders must face up to a range of challenges and come to terms with a new way of thinking and if they are to remain relevant to modern business.

In a white paper published today – Architecting Choice: How CIO’s can derive business benefits from the IT Cultural Revolution – SCC’s Corporate CTO Ian Sherratt argues that while IT departments have failed to respond quickly enough to changing ‘prosumer’ needs, The market disruption brought about by cloud services and the consumerisation of IT presents an opportunity to revolutionise their relationship with end users and the business.

“Business demand is running multiple times faster than IT can deliver the necessary change and additional services, and this isn’t set to slow down anytime soon. Millions of workers, consumers and companies – accustomed to an era where everything is available and everything is free – are now demanding that the benefits offered by the social and mobile revolution be applied across the corporate landscape. Therein lies our challenge as IT professionals,” said Sherratt.

“Although momentum is now finally building, there is widespread realisation that IT departments have failed to respond quickly enough to the changing end user needs within the business.”

The white paper argues that two years have passed since organisations first realised that they were being overtaken by the consumerisation of IT. Users today are already connecting to the corporate environment via multiple personal devices irrespective of whatever official policies might be in place, and in-house support teams face a raft of challenges keeping up with the changing demands of a workforce accustomed to doing what they want, whenever they want to, on any device of their choice.

While accepting that the consumerisation process is now widely understood by most IT leaders and that activity is underway to address it, SCC believes that it is vital for organisations to consider this change as a holistic challenge rather than a number of small technology projects. The evolving technology context requires an approach that is not simply focused on infrastructure issues like client, server, data and security, but also embraces the cultural and behavioural change necessary to make this approach a success.

Ian Sherratt commented: “ICT isn’t all about the technology anymore – it’s about the user experience, culture and business changes necessary to create a modern dynamic application landscape that suits the needs of the business today, but is also flexible enough to be able to meet change and demand for future innovation. We must embrace this change opportunity now, as for the last couple of years many IT teams have been in a state of information paralysis.

“It should serve as a wake-up call that 30% of the UK’s corporate ICT spend is now spent from outside the traditional IT department, by the business that IT was supposed to be serving. The IT professional needs to come to terms with this new revolution, by evaluating the benefits of ‘anywhere’ working, learn lessons from apps and popular clouds services such as music, video and social networking, and recognise the need to mimic that success in the way they deliver IT.”

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