Digital Transformation | Hybrid Cloud | IoT

Monday, September 8, 2008

Erasing the Line Between Business and Technology


During a recent CIO seminar I hosted in San Francisco, some attendees told me how they were trying to blur the line between business and technology. Other attendees told me they wanted to "close the gap" between business and technology.

To me, business and technology are already one and the same. Business Technology (BT) is the next evolution of Information Technology (IT). Many technology bloggers write about information, applications, data, voice or video. In stark contrast, the term Business Technology acknowledges the convergence and interactions of these elements together.

Where we came from
When I was with InformationWeek in the 1990s, we wrote about data processing, management information systems and IT. But today, BT is a new view of technology; a 360-degree view, if you will, where technology is woven throughout the business operations, decisions and functions.

The role of BT should be placed within the sequential context of people, process and technology. Meaning, a dialogue about the inherent benefits of BT should not focus on technology, but rather on how it aids businesses in completing their goals, or how it enables streamlined business processes and improved efficiencies.

Where we're going
Looking ahead, the measuring-stick for incumbent providers will shift to measuring a defined, expected experience overall -- inclusive of applications, processes and the network foundation. And, the head of BT (a next-generation CIO) aligned with executives who are running the operation and is focused on improving process and finding new sources of revenue, and/or strategic competitive advantage in the marketplace.

Business Technology as a service
Business Technology is a new way of thinking about the business experience and IT, certainly. However, its delivery and ongoing management involves two options:
  • in-house management
  • and/or selectively out-tasked functions to a managed service provider
How do you decide which BT services to keep in-house, and which ones to outsource to MSPs? We'll explore those considerations in the weeks ahead.

You know the line between business and technology is fading away (in fact, I think it's gone). Now, it's time for executives to focus on the strategy of technology -- rather than the ongoing management of it.

Selectively out-tasking the day-to-day management to a so-called "Business Technology as a Service Provider" may prove to be the flexible, scalable and reliable choice.