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With some analysts and executives asking whether IT departments are necessary anymore, enterprise IT leaders would be making a mistake if they constructed a single hypothesis about the future and then built their departments around it. That sort of planning may make sense during more stable times, but it makes no sense now, when the future is so uncertain.
See our related article: IT and the Changing Competitive Landscape: 10 Questions Executives Need to Ask to be "Futures Ready"
You may also be interested in our latest Point of View on this topic in the Outlook online journal: Is your IT “futures-ready”?
The role of the information technology department is under scrutiny. It may be an exaggeration to say that IT departments should go the way, but the function is certainly ripe for reinvention. When one talks about the future of IT these questions arise:
Even though the future looks uncertain, what IT leaders need is a posture of futures-readiness, allowing them to adjust to what happens next in the evolving geopolitical, economic, regulatory and technical realms. Envisioning possible futures, their demands on IT and novel ways to meet those requirements will help IT leaders identify strategies they can put in place three or four years from now.
What makes an organization futures-ready isn’t a particular IT organizational structure or technical architecture. It isn’t adhering to one ideal model for the CIO role or IT management. All of these will and should vary by industry, existing capabilities, and the particular future that unfolds. What makes an organization futures-ready is a certain focus in how it thinks and plans its enterprise IT future.
Jeanne G. Harris, Allan E. Alter, Stéphane J.G. Girod and Iris A. Junglas
March 12, 2012
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