I remember the IT department used to be called as 'EDP' in my school days - Electronic Data Processing Department. In some companies, it used ot be called as 'MIS' - Management Information Systems Department. The Job of the department would be centrally digitize and manage the backoffice functions such as accounting/payroll in a central organizational unit.
The CIO.com article states that, with the advent of PCs and networks, MIS department was decentralized and that led to the evolution of IT. Pretty interesting to observe that how a technology innovation leads to organizational / management structure within the company [The arrival of LAN within the company].
Now, IT is hugely populated with COTS products and Of late, with Software-as-a-Service solutions. Is that all?. No, it looks like its going to change again and its called 'Enterprise Technology'.
When MIS was limited to only computer-savvy professionals, IT expanded the role of technology to larger set of people within the organization such as engineers, business people using spreadsheets/office/collaboration software. Now, with advent of ET, the technology would be made available to larger set of population outside the organization, beyond its own employees, to even those customers who have not traditionally used any devices or phones.
It falls on the idea of 'Internet of Things' where technology is going to get embedded in every possible device that the end customer interacts with. And this paradigm is going to amoss large amounts of data to the Enterprise. And the Enterprise would be challenged to make intelligence out of this vast amount of data to add value to the end customers and their environment. And the key difference from IT and ET is that ET would be wired to the physical world - physically touching the customers' lives.
Now the question is, Is the traditional IT department geared up to face this challenging trend?. I dont think so.
The key challenge would be the ability to envision, conceptualize, architect, build and operate solutions that call for 'Inter-disciplinary' competencies. When I say inter-disciplinary, the future Enterprise Technology solutions would require amalgamation of multiple competencies such as hardware, software and embedded technologies. While the traditional Enterprise IT shops are used to architect/operate software-only / software-intensive solutions.
Are you game for this new IT?