• maart 1, 2017

How IT departments became irrelevant

How IT departments became irrelevant

How IT departments became irrelevant 620 355 Roderick Derks
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

The audience of the people working in IT infrastructure is changing rapidly. We used to talk tech to each other, now we have to deal with people from the business and the C-level. Scary moments for all parties. What is driving this change and how does this affect the role of IT managers, the architects and the rest of the team?

First we have all of these public cloud services that organizations start using. For services like Office 365 it’s not really difficult anymore to make this available to the end users. Yes, setting up your authorization and email transition takes time, but making Office Groups or Azure Information Protection available is easy. It’s the user adoption and business process part that takes time and effort, not the technical stuff.


end users are savages

Second the average IT manager is very capable of running an IT department. The last two decades he and his team had an important job and did all this technical stuff that nobody understood. But nowadays the same team is not equipped to deal with public cloud. They can not use it to drive the transformation the organization needs to stay competitive. More and more the IT manager is having trouble to connect to his C-level superior.

So what I see happening is that the CIO needs help to keep his position and if the company has enough financial resources he hires a trusted external IT consultancy partner. The CIO feels understood again, they setup a program and start doing projects. The IT manager has to transfer a large part of his budget to the program. Less power. Less status. Looking for a new job.



Moving to the cloud means talking a lot about abstract concepts and not about in-depth technology. The CIO who does not have the money to hire external consultants suddenly can join the talk and starts making the IT decisions. Even if he has no idea how concept #1 relates to concept #2. And why bother because no one else around him can explain it. This could lead to some trouble on the long term.

What I see is decisions are often not long term related. It’s about cost savings on the short term and you can predict the day that end users start complaining and a double investment is needed to deal with the long term organizational needs.

So IT people with a vision and the ability to create a cloud strategy are strongly needed, maybe more then ever. Their challenge is to start speaking the language of the end users and the CIO.

IT guys often prefer content over form. Accept the fact that to reach the new audience form is more important to even have a chance to talk about the content.

In my next blog I will show you a great example of how cloud architects and IT managers can deal with this. Subscribe to the newsletter to get notified when it’s published.