Why So Many IT Organizations are Stuck in the Past

Nov 7th 2017 | Posted by Domenic Colasante

A little over five years ago, there was no Instacart. But today, the same-day grocery delivery service is on a tear, with operations in 1,200 cities across 25 states, and a valuation of $3.4 billion as of March 2017. It’s left many retailers scratching their heads as to how a young startup figured out a service that they have been struggling to build for years.

It’s no secret that Instacart’s streamlined infrastructure, user-friendly platform, and a wide selection of products made it a near-overnight success in 2012. By focusing on delivering a great experience for the end user, and taking a novel approach to selling products from several partner supermarkets, Instacart was able to succeed where others have failed. And it’s far from the only example.

As technological progress accelerates, so will more companies fall prey to new, nimble competitors. Industries are being disrupted at alarming rates, and companies cannot afford to ignore the possibility that theirs will be next. Businesses will have to evolve and adapt to defend against its technology-driven competitors, and in turn become the tech-driven competitor in its market.


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Trouble is, many IT organizations are still stuck in their old, familiar ways:


Past Present
SpendingCIO and IT control spendingBusiness leaders engage in, and drive IT
Service deliveryLong development and provisioning timesServices, infrastructure, and applications can be deployed with the click of a button
SecuritySensitive information must be in-house onlySensitive applications and data in the cloud strengthen security
ValueIT value is unclear and not analyzed by business leadersCosts and ROI are clear, and IT is accountable for its decisions
RoleThe CIO and IT leaders are responsible for overseeing major infrastructure projects, developing applications, and managing IT infrastructureThe CIO and IT leaders are largely service integrators, managing third-party vendors
WorkforceThe IT department is large and staffed with technically skilled employeesThe IT department is streamlined, and technology workers are dispersed throughout the company


These changes are rewriting the narrative of IT, shifting it from a siloed support entity to the core of a modern digital business. The IT strategy of the future is not an IT strategy at all—it is a business strategy. It’s time for the IT leadership to rethink how it views technology and approaches new challenges—organizationally, operationally, and technically.


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