Back at the times of outsourcing, there was real tension between IT and the business. Internal IT had the “comfortable” position of having a monopoly: The business used the internal IT and basically just had to pay the bill. Then times came, where the business was not satisfied anymore. That basically started with the time of the PC. IT was in kind of a losing position: If the decentralized IT worked, it was just what users expected, if it did not, users complained. Additionally, as IT was treated as an art rather than an engineering discipline (that’s the way it is still run in a lot of occasions), cost just grew, without a real need of rationalizing. IT is critical for all the businesses but the value is hard to measure (until you lose your mail server once for a day).
Then outsourcing came and everything was getting better – not really. A lot of companies outsourced a problem – they used the same people with the same attitude and outsourced everything to the outsourcing provider. But now they had a contract – and so did the outsourcer. There were (and still are) numerous meetings I have been in, where the customer and the outsourcer were fighting, whether applying a patch is part of the contract or not and whether patch management should be done more than every six months. Finally, the customer had to learn to become a customer as well and specify their needs.
Why do I write this? Because I see similar discussions today with the Cloud. Business is not satisfied with how internal IT delivers. They are too slow, too expensive and too unreliable – therefore the business is looking at the promises of the Cloud: Fast, reliable, inexpensive. What does it really mean for the business? For IT?
This decision has to be a strategic decision and not a decision taken because business does not like their own IT. For the internal IT it might be a threat (if you decide to sit and wait) or an opportunity if you take the strategic decision and opportunity.
Now, the reason for this post was actually in an article, which was sent to me: Why businesses move to the cloud: They hate IT