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The end of an era always marks the beginning of a new one. As technology marches on its winding path, it’s hard to predict how things will turn out this year. But it’s always fun to speculate.
Mark P. McDonald, a Gartner analyst, believes IT eras shift every few years, and he is ready to pronounce 2012 as a pivotal year in the next era of IT.
In a post on the Gartner blog, McDonald details what he sees as the last three eras of IT in the past decade. In 2000–2003, IT was forced to prove itself as relevant to business. In 2003–2006, IT became accepted in the business world and underwent a “business-ification” process, which meant CIOs were looking for efficiencies, savings and revenue. From 2007–2011, IT has been swept away with a massive consolidation effort, as virtualization and the economy have forced IT to do more with less.
So what new frontiers will IT explore in 2012? McDonald has a few ideas:
- Technology becomes more important than IT. Technology is inherently externally facing, and that will displace the current crop of IT-centric, internally facing transaction systems. Mobility, social media, analytics, new interfaces are all part of an arc of technology that is much broader than IT.
- Consumer and personal tastes are driving technology and resetting expectations for IT in terms of time to market, complexity and customer experience. IT has been used to running on its own time, and it will have to change to run at the customer’s clock speed.
- Competition will center around an expanding view of the customer experience touching on channels, ease of doing business, internal complexity, cost, marketing and provisioning. Organizations that see a next version of the customer experience as CRM on steroids will experience increasing investment and decreasing returns.
- Increasing IT workforce productivity and throughput will become a requirement, with CIOs having to commit, monitor and manage year-over-year productivity improvements. This will be critical to the future, as right now most firms manage “productivity” from the denominator of cost, they will need to raise the numerator (output) in the future.
When you look into your crystal ball, what do you see in store for IT in 2012?
Read more about the future of IT in McDonald’s post on the Gartner blog.