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Is it the end of the road for IT?

Blog posted by: Toby Moore and Dr Tuuli Bell, 10 May 2017.

Is it the end of the road for IT?

AXELOS associate Toby Moore and Dr Tuuli Bell, partner manager at Tasktop Technologies explore the outlook for IT following the release of the AXELOS The Future ITSM Professionalreport.

IT has evolved beyond recognition in recent years to become an integrated part of business operations. But, as this evolution continues, will IT as we know it disappear?

IT will remain, but change

Toby MooreThis was a key question asked by Toby and Tuuli and the result was a resounding “no”. In fact, when asked “Do you think that by 2030, IT will disappear from most businesses?” over 72% of respondents said IT will remain relevant and just 8% thought it would disappear completely.

The views of the webinar attendees mirrored the thoughts of the panel. “IT as we know it will be different in terms of how it’s lead and managed. You just need to look at unicorn businesses like Netflix and Spotify to see how this is manifesting. They put technology first rather than building a business and then looking at it. They start with IT service management (ITSM) and infrastructure. It’s a very different way of thinking.”

The shift in the role of IT is also being driven by the level of knowledge of those entering the workplace. Toby added: “The millennial audience has more technical skills than past generations.”

“We’re also using services in different ways and we have to be prepared, as businesses, to evolve to a high rate of change,” said Tuuli.

But having the technology is only part of the battle according to the panel. Toby said: “It’s easy to get a server, the hard part is everyone using it quickly and as you want them to.”

IT needs to listen and evolve

Tuuli agrees: “One of biggest challenges is giving people a tool and not knowing how they use it. To remain relevant, IT needs to get this feedback, listen and keep on changing.”

This idea of IT listening and evolving accordingly is critical, according to Toby and Tuuli: “We need to think about things like using Google Analytics and click rate optimization tools to understand how people are using different tools and platforms,” Toby said. “Zendesk is an interesting example of this. When Zendesk sets up a new vendor, it puts Google Analytics code on the tool so the IT team can see how the self-service tool is being used. It’s about putting insight and data first.”

Summing up the required shift in IT teams, Tuuli concluded: “It’s changing from competitors to collaborators. You have to work together. Rather than silos – both internal and external – everyone is a team mate.”

Toby agrees: “I think in the future, the key competency for internal IT teams will be more around managing outsourcing rather than infrastructure. Internal teams can then focus on interaction and what great service looks like rather than business-as-usual issues like server problems.”

Move to broader areas of knowledge in IT roles

The shifting role of IT opens a further key question about the future skills and competencies of IT teams:

Dr Tuuli Bell

Tuuli believes it’s a move from decades of experience in specific areas to broader knowledge in lots of different areas. Likewise, Toby feels that the millennial workforce will encourage greater innovation in IT roles: “If you look across the decades, the rate of learning the basics has continued to increase. Younger people come in and innovate quicker and disrupt the order in a positive way.

“IT won’t disappear – it’ll just change and evolve and so will the roles. There are some unforgiving changes no doubt, but look at it another way: how can you change your skills to evolve?”

Tuuli agrees: “There’s opportunity for those in IT to use the skills they’ve gained in service management and apply them elsewhere. This evolution isn’t specific to ITSM either. Almost all roles are at threat from automation, but I think it will make our jobs will be more interesting. I think the future of IT is more exciting, interesting, and more customer focused.”

Read part one of Tuuli and Toby's conversation, The importance of collaboration in ITSM.

Download the Future ITSM Professional Report

To hear more of Tuuli and Toby’s discussion listen to the full webinar, Putting service before IT: Exploring the Future of ITSM.


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