The Digital Age and the Future of IT
- Created on 18 January 2017
Information technology has come a long way in the past decade, we are now in the midst of the digital revolution, where information technology is one in which data is king. The rate of new innovation in IT has changed the way individuals operate in every aspect of life. Old business models are now being shattered, with disruption driving new innovation, new ways of thinking through problems and new solutions.
Digitalization has had a profound influence on many industries, changing corporate competitiveness, customer behavior, as well as the role of IT. In the earlier stages of IT, the main focus was to automate processes and improve access to information and data. Many businesses that required a large number of staff were able to reduce their workforce significantly. The business environment was fairly predictable, thus making it stable. This made it fairly easy for managers to create a business strategy and utilize management tools to control the organization and drive productivity.
However, digitalization is now changing the game completely. There are now eight forces driving the change, as oppose to one. This has caused a significant amount of complexity in the role of IT and a stable and predictable business environment no longer exists.
The following are the key drivers for digitalization:
- Automation of processes and businesses
- Changing customer behavior (social media, mobility, engagement/experience)
- New digital competition
- Increased demand for improved information management (BI, ERP, Big Data, microservices)
- Global IT services (outsourcing and cloud)
- Increased demand for security and integrity
- Supporting digital innovation (co-creation and crowd innovation)
- Being prepared for disruptive trends re-writing the business environment
Each of these eight digital drivers are changing the role of IT in the business organization. We have moved from a situation where we focused solely on one dimension, to a situation where we need to focus on all eight in IT management. The new Digital age is reshaping the future, with technological innovations giving people around the world new opportunities as well as more power than any other time in history.
The following diagram is an example of how digitalization reshapes the business environment: