The Industrial Revolution of the 18th and early 19th centuries saw a total transformation of the manufacturing processes of the time. According to Larry Bua, VP of Operations and Technology at BestIT, today’s world of IT experiences the equivalent of the same thing every 18-24 months. And that pace is only accelerating because of the constant advances in both technical architecture and applications. “Equipment rapidly becomes obsolete,” Bua says, “and technology assets no longer provide a competitive advantage as technology becomes commoditized.”
This IT Revolution is fundamentally changing the landscape of IT management. Spending shifts from capital expenses to operational expenses, which completely changes the way IT departments and executives allocate their budgets across their entire business.
Digitalization of Information
So, what’s the cause of this? In addition to architecture and application advances, digitalization of information is playing a large role in the process. Regardless of industry, information is going digital. The ability of business systems within a given company to integrate with mainstream enterprise resource planning (ERP) platforms that automate back-end business processes is becoming more and more crucial as the push for digitalization continues. As Bua points out, industries are adapting at various speeds: The media sector is the most advanced, as the value realization is much quicker. The entire process from shooting a movie to final product can be completed faster than it ever has been before. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Bua points to the education sector as lagging the most behind:
“The entire process requires digitalization. We live in a world where you can track a package from your home to Hong Kong and see all the stops along the way, yet we can’t track the progress of a student in an individual school relative to everyone else in the state or country specific to the area of study they’re in.”
Lean IT – Automation and Efficiency
In addition to digitalization, the concept of Lean IT is speeding along the process of change in technology. Lean IT, which takes the automation concepts of Toyota’s Lean Manufacturing and applies them to IT, focuses mostly on three main components: eliminating waste, optimizing processes, and getting value from a product prior to its completion. With these components in mind, IT organizations are transforming themselves.
As this digitalization of information and automation of technology processes continue, the pace of change in IT departments is only going to increase. In today’s market it’s essential to have a plan laid out that details where the technology in your organization is, lifecycle management for your current technology and steps to help your business weather the next IT revolution.