The Complex Evolution of IT

I recently read a fantastic article titled “Understanding IT Complexity” by Chris Curran of CIO Dashboard. In it, Curran states:

IT is stressing under the weight of applications, emerging tech, vendors and systems and sans the support of a seamless, flexible and sturdy integrated infrastructure. This complexity is happening as the CIO and the IT function face immense pressure to spend more time on “change-the-business” versus “run-the-business.” IT is being pulled in two different directions as its resources are stretched thin.

He then goes into several specific categories and explains ways of managing these complexities.

Curran’s description is analogous to the healthcare field today. When I was young, the general family doctor was the main liaison into the medical field. You only went to see a specialist when recommended by your family doctor or internist. Today we go right to the specialist. Each discipline requires more knowledge than any one person can possibly know. We rely on specialists to address various aspects of medicine due to the complexity and thus the depth of knowledge required for each discipline.

Technology is no different, as it has evolved into extremely complex network environments with zero acceptable downtime. The level of services demanded are extremely sophisticated and take special understanding and knowledge to deliver and sustain. It is unlikely that there are that many firms that can hire the rare and expensive talent needed to design, implement, and manage all of these complex environments.  It takes many years, for example, to become an expert in VMware, storage systems, messaging systems, or enterprise content management systems. It is rare to find that one systems administrator is an expert in all fields.

Kraft Kennedy is no stranger to this evolution in IT. Years ago, our teams of consultants were client-centric. However, as technology became more complex and required more specific and deeper knowledge, we transitioned into a practice-centric model.  We now have teams of experts in specific areas of technology: client systems, infrastructure systems, messaging platforms, enterprise content management systems, support services, and security governance.

Firms as well as corporations will benefit from outsourcing IT to specialists who can bring together the high-level talent necessary to sustain these complex environments and keep them going 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.