Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Where is Internal IT Going?

Source : fastforwardblog.com

Nitin Karandikar raises some interesting points about IT outsourcing and the . He references an Information Week article: The Second Decade Of Offshore Outsourcing: Where We’re Headed that looks at the changing relationship between enterprise customers and offshore IT providers; how the outside providers are evolving into longer-term strategic partners rather than cheap labor body-shops. Nitin goes into much more detail and I recommend looking at his post.

This trend raises some interesting questions. If the outside partners become more strategic, will they become tied to one enterprise so the chain becomes simply an extension of the enterprise for accounting purposes? If not, how can you really be strategic for multiple enterprises, especially if they are in the same market?

The next question is the evolving role of internal IT. With more strategic work done outside will there be anyone left? I hope so because someone has to architect and orchestrate these forces. This orchestrating becomes more complex because the possible increased decentralization of IT development through such enterprise 2.0 tools as mashups. IT could play a great role here orchestrating these business team developers and helping to share the expertise and experience of individual teams across the enterprise. That is what I read that the IBM CTO is doing, see CIO-led Collaborative Innovation through Enterprise 2.0 at IBM: A Useful Model.

Then you add SaaS into the mix with more hosted applications than internal development, internal IT coders might become an endangered species, while internal IT architects will become even more important. Those remaining IT guys are also more likely to be early adopters of new consumer tools on the web so they can become scouts spotting what next to bring inside the enterprise. I think there should always be a role for internal IT. The survivors will be the nimble and the smart.

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