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There is a fundamental shift happening to IT right now, and it’s changing the way we think about the department: IT as a Service. What is it? It’s an organizational model that corporate and internal IT departments must recognize and adapt to or risk falling behind the curve. But how has this concept revolutionized the industry?
Internal IT has changed because its role in business has changed–drastically. Historically, IT has been viewed as a cost center, slow to respond, and difficult to work with. If you had a problem, it was brought to the department’s attention, they gathered the requirements needed for the project, built the technology, tested it, and retested it as needed until it was ready for release. This is seen as a model of control. Because that process is long and cumbersome, IT is seen as lacking urgency for Lines of Business (LOB) requests, so many LOBs end up outsourcing their IT needs. This puts them at risk for security and compliance incidents.
With ITaaS, the process has changed. Now, we’re in the digital age, where technology is very pervasive. A better model has emerged that turns IT into a service provider, competing with the outside market, billing by the sip and submitting chargebacks to each LOB. The model becomes about control of consumption of services rather than control of technology.
How has this evolved? First, it’s important to point out that the concept isn’t new. That being said, the need for speed and cloud-based computing are the primary drivers for this model. With this shift in thinking, internal IT organizations are changing from a cost center into a reliable business partner delivering XaaS, quickly and securely. It’s an organizational shift in thinking rather than a technological one, as ITaaS strives to provide LOBs with increased efficiency and reduced cost of ownership.
This shift has already begun. Major companies such as VMWare and EMC are making each of their products accessible, and Anything as a Service has the industry evolving faster than ever before. The benefits to ITaaS are many, with improved financial transparency, more direct association of costs to consumption, and increased overall business agility among a few.
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