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How will the changing role of the IT department, change its supplier relationships?

date: 8 February 2013
reading time: 2 min

One result of the global downturn has been to refocus the role of the IT department. Budget cutting has forced CIOs and IT Directors to prove the business value of the software they roll-out, indeed of any technology they provide to the rest of their organisation. At the same time their users have become more demanding, with higher expectations of business technology.

One result of the global downturn has been to refocus the role of the IT department. Budget cutting has forced CIOs and IT Directors to prove the business value of the software they roll-out, indeed of any technology they provide to the rest of their organisation. At the same time their users have become more demanding, with higher expectations of business technology. Mobility has also led to the creation of a borderless IT environment. Consequently IT departments are now focusing on business empowerment rather than just IT management. CIOs are starting to see themselves playing a critical role in multiple business areas. IT departments will soon have to support the business in a manner that will integrate IT functions into the delivery of products and services as well. This fundamental change will undoubtedly impact upon suppliers too.

I believe that as IT departments become more strategic, more consultative and work more closely with other internal departments, their suppliers will evolve to match this change –or at least the good ones will. They will need to provide business oriented strategic advice and ensure that they understand how they fit into their customer’s long-term business strategy.

Here at Future Processing we have been evolving in this manner for several years.  Our recently created project management office always works to ensure that we understand the bigger picture for every single client. We have also been working hard to further develop our consultancy and IT services offerings.

There is one more point I would like to make. Despite new expectations, IT departments haven’t lost their old responsibilities. While they are expected to become more of a business consultant to the rest of the organization, research from Everest Group shows that on average 75% of their time is still taken up with maintaining existing systems. CIOs need to continue to meet these core requirements of managing IT, but at the same time begin to address this pull in two opposing directions. One way for them to continue to serve the core needs of managing IT in the organization, is to use external suppliers. Maximising outsourcing maintenance type functions, will enable IT departments to remain lean and agile, and therefore to focus on strategy and innovation.

What do you think?

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