The war between IT and marketing will soon be over, according to technology experts, who claim the IT department won’t even exist within five years.
While this may be welcome news for anyone who been given the stock answer – do a “restart” – to every query, the sting in the tail is that the IT team will in future sit in every department.
In a recent debate at the CITE conference in the US, Kathleen Schaub, vice president of IDC’s CMO Advisory Practice, said many corporate IT divisions now report to the head of the business unit they are assigned to.
“The premise is that wherever IT sits in an organisation will dictate what they care about,” she said. “If they’re in finance, they’ll care about cost cutting. If they’re in operations, they’ll care about process management. If [the company] decides it wants to focus on the customer, they’ll put it in marketing.”
Consumerisation of IT and self-service trends are the main drivers of this change, as consumer technology becomes part and parcel of everyone’s work in the business.
“The business itself will be the IT department. [Technologists] will simply be the enabler,” said Brandon Porco, chief technologist and solutions architect at Northrop Grumman.
Meanwhile Nathan McBride, vice president of IT & chief cloud architect at Amag Pharmaceuticals, said 75 Fortune 100 companies now use Google Apps, along with most top US colleges, meaning the next generation of workers won’t be users of Microsoft Exchange or Office.
He said: “Interns coming in for the summer are asked if they’re familiar with Google Apps. They say, ‘Of course we are’. Then we have other employees coming in who have worked for other companies who say, ‘I need Outlook.’ We have to say we don’t use that anymore.”
In five years, McBride said, companies will have to ensure they are matching their technology to the demographic of that time.
The predictions follow reports that marketers are winning the war to wrest control of so-called big data, usurping the power of IT teams. Former Amazon chief Brian Lent, co-founder Medio, said: “The chief marketing officers are going to be spending more IT dollars because they, in marketing areas, are driving a lot of the demands for big data.”
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