As technology evolves, is your internal IT department on the verge of extinction?
For many businesses, just having an IT department to field desktop problems and handle complicated networking and systems tasks was good enough for years. With the introduction of technologies like cloud computing, virtualization and outsourced technology, however, businesses are beginning to change the way they look at their IT departments.
One of the biggest trends in business is the move toward a solutions-based, consultative approach to technology. According to a May 2012 CIO article, analysts expect a shift by the year 2020 from an internal IT department that manages services like cloud or outsourced IT to the actual service provider itself. In other words, leadership will enlist service providers to handle their technology needs rather than their IT departments. After years of faithful service from the internal IT department, why the sudden change?
One reason is the increasingly complex nature of technology in the business environment. IT departments used to have two deployment options (either in-house data centers or through colocation); now they must grapple with in-house deployments, hosted or internal cloud deployments (either public or private) and IT outsourcing. Contending with the knowledge requirements of these systems is tough for a small IT department. Often, internal IT employees struggle to maintain the level of competency needed to run a complex deployment effectively. Similarly, small and mid-sized businesses are reluctant to spend the funds necessary to pay for ongoing training for their IT departments, especially in an already tight market.
This tight market has had another effect on the internal IT department. As budgets slim down, technology is becoming a delivery-based service. With services like Clarity, NetStandard’s proactive approach to outsourced IT, businesses receive a Fortune 500 technology infrastructure and support at an affordable cost. The unique benefit of services like Clarity is in the strategic approach to technology. This approach utilizes not just the tech-know-how needed to deliver IT needs; it also leverages the consultative knowledge of the service provider to create a strategic plan for that individual business. Combined with the long-term cost savings of outsourcing the business’ IT needs, this consultative approach becomes a strategic advantage that can spark new growth for SMBs.
In-house IT professionals need not be worried, however. With the uptick in the need for technology-based jobs (U.S. IT employment is growing at twice the rate of the overall job market, hitting an all-time high in April 2012), in-house professionals are increasingly moving toward technology companies or business consulting firms.