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Monday, 24 September 2012 13:36

Corporate IT function faces flaying

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By 2017 only about 25 per cent of the corporate IT function as we know it will be left in house.

About a quarter of current IT staff will be deployed into the business itself, with IT professionals working cheek by jowl with business users; while a full half of in-house IT staff simply won’t be required as companies continue to outsource their computing, or buy cloud computing services.

According to Frank Diana, Principal of Digital Enterprise Solutions at Tata Consulting Services, the transition is going to take just three to five years as organisations transform into “digital enterprises”. He said the notion had been floated at a Corporate Executive Board meeting earlier this month, adding; “I didn’t hear a lot of disagreement in the room.”

Mr Diana who was in Australia for a TCS user summit said that the shift came as organisations were grappling with the next major wave of IT change. He said that organisations were increasingly seeking to become “digital enterprises” – making use of mobile, social, cloud and big data computing in order to empower both their in house users and customers.

According to Mr Diana while companies have had three decades of installing computer systems of record such as ERP systems, organisations are now starting to construct “systems of engagement. These systems he said would allow people at the edge of organisations become more effective by engaging with corporate knowledge bases and supported with big data.

Those companies which were slow to make the changes could find themselves at risk from nimbler rivals he said.

As well as embracing the technology to support the transition, organisations needed to overhaul their internal organisational structures, he said. Old industrial era “Command and control models don’t work – we need to enable engagement at the edge of the organisation.”

TCS is itself at the early stages of rolling out a social platform called KnoMe which is part of its “Vivacious TCS” internal campaign launched in July in order to more fully engage its employees.

Mr Diana said it was important to create an environment of trust, and to create a culture that encouraged open-ness and collaboration.

“It does sound like motherhood and apple pie,” acknowledged Mr Diana, but he said some companies such as IBM and Coca-Cola were already embracing systems of engagement in order to become truly digital enterprises able to support high growth rates.

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