However, the CIO will gain the freedom and flexibility to create an impressive portfolio of user services and experiences, an agile and responsive operation, and more affordable and sustainable consumption models. In some organisations this transformation has already begun.
The Services Defined Enterprise
The accelerated growth of technology consumerism means that the average citizen has more applications available on their smart phone than most business users could hope for. This type of technology consumerism is now being mirrored in the world of business IT.
Of course, IT departments have always worked with a range of different service partners to help them design, build, or operate their IT infrastructure, applications and services. However, the growth in cloud-based infrastructure and application services during the last three years means that business consumers are now being presented with massive choice of functionality and capability directly from external services providers.
For example, a consumer who enters a retail store in order to acquire a new smartphone is seeking to walk away with the very latest and greatest device, delivered within a price and service plan that best meets their lifestyle and financial needs. When they leave the store, they assume that everything that is needed is in place to enable their new handset to deliver the experience they have been promised. That's because, in their mind, they have bought a service, not bought a piece of equipment.
The consumer has no wish to specify the underlying technology and software platform that will enable them to make a call, receive a text, or access an app.
They want to consume a service and today's consumers have become experts in identifying, selecting, and sourcing a range of technology-based services. In many ways, the average digital citizen defines themselves by the services they consume.
As well as being the most flexible and efficient way to consume technology, buying services is also widely regarded to be the best way to achieve an almost instant realisation of investment benefit. That's because their new handset works as soon as they leave the store. Within seconds of signing up to their service provider, they can send an email and launch a fully working Windows environment to connect with their world via the cloud.
It's instant consumer gratification and it's achieved by buying technology as a service. It's hardly surprising, therefore, that business leaders are increasingly seeking to adopt the same approach. Software as a Service (SaaS) usage has exploded because providers are offering something that business users can purchase and start using almost as soon as the contract is signed.
As more and more services are being offered directly to business users by what the IT department has to offer is increasing.
Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.