Disruptive technologies: Mobile Internet, Internet of Things, Cloud, Advanced Robotics, 3D Printing… We have all heard, read about, seen or experienced these first hand. We understand that they can have an impact on the (global) economy and potentially on us. One of these is close to my heart and I have experienced the impact first hand. Cloud: it snuck up on us in our private lives (FaceBook, Gmail, WhatsApp etc.) and we are not going to be able avoid it in business. If you are considering moving any or all of your IT services into the Cloud you should consider how this will impact your IT department. And it will! But, before you start looking into retrenching your entire department. They are and always will be required, although their role will change.
As a Functional Consultant (SharePoint and Office365), I see organisations struggling to make the changes required after the technical migration to the cloud. In this blog, I will discuss the role of IT specifically to the O365 platform. This does not take into consideration integration into other systems, hybrid solutions, customization or bespoke systems. There is a lot that won’t change. Traditionally, IT departments were kept busy managing infrastructure, services, patches and upgrades of software. For cloud solutions this is where the paradigm shifts. Your IT department will now be required to understand and focus on driving business value.
Borrowing from ITIL, I believe in the following guidelines: define, measure and manage.
With your organisation’s mission top-of-mind and a roadmap of two to five years, the IT department should map out the technology (define) to support this mission, empower the users and the organisation. Then monitor, measure and manage progress.
Practically, this translates to the IT department no longer only focussing on solving technical issues, but being kept busy solving business issues to support the organisation mission and strategy.
An overview of the tasks are:
• Admin – user management, managing features and functionality
• Service incidents – understanding and managing the impact on users and the business
• Compliance – creating and managing policies, supporting the business
• Adoption – understanding usage, targeting training and support, managing features and functionality
• Power BI – analysing business data and usage to enhance adoption.
This new focus on business and enhancing adoption, enabling the users and supporting the business can be made easier by thinking in Collaboration Scenarios. These scenarios, specific to the organisation and the users, offer a consistent picture of the interaction between the users, the applications they use and how they collaborate. They are used by the users to understand how they can apply different apps to the work they do. And by IT to streamline training, support and understand what features or functionality will be required.
With this information you should consider options for retraining your IT department or outsourcing some tasks, but IT will always have a role to play. In my opinion, a vital role in the successful adoption of any cloud solution.
You can find more about collaboration in the article How to put Collaboration at the Centre of Your Business.