Re-Thinking I.T. Organizational Structure
Ways to evolve your enterprise
By John Wondolowski
I think there is a pressing need to reconsider, refine, and reconfigure the basic structure of an Enterprise Information Technology Organization. To be sure, many IT Leaders have already done just that as they have absorbed DevOps into the fabric of their departments. The “Plan-Build-Run” paradigm that was popularly adopted in the not so distant past effectively created separate “Applications” and “Infrastructure” teams. The Applications Team had the software used by end-users to support business processes (and some software that was invisible to the end-users). The Infrastructure Team basically resembled the forced combination of the Network-Server-Storage technology domains. As Service Delivery moved more toward Process-based approaches the Infrastructure Team might have folded in under an IT Operations or IT Service Delivery Organizational Structure.
When Software Defined Data Center technologies started to abstract the specialized Server Administration, Storage Administration, and Network Administration tasks we saw the lines blur between those three Infrastructure domains (or more realistically silos).
As automation and orchestration took a foothold in Enterprise IT and executing on pre-defined patterns and runbooks dramatically decreased the time and manpower required for provisioning of services, we saw more significant changes in tasks and responsibilities.
Of course, Infrastructure as a Service and Software as Service (and Platform as a Service) remove even more friction points that existed in the traditional IT Organization/Roles/Responsibilities. But clearly those friction points did not completely disappear as they have been replaced with new friction points along the Integration Requirements across the various new Service Delivery Capabilities and Technology Stacks.
The move to Micro-Services, moving On-Premise Enterprise Applications as SaaS, Containers (and orchestration of those Containers), combined with the Hybrid Cloud Service Delivery Stacks in many ways fully obsolete the old “Applications” and “Infrastructure” roles and responsibilities.
Consider all of that discussion against the backdrop of Security Wrappers and in fact a comprehensive approach to a Risk Profile and a unified approach to Security. Then add in that the two things that really matter for the success of an Enterprise IT Executive today are: “User Experience” and “Extracting Business Value from Data”. Then sprinkle on top of that – the new processing, data collection, and data storage demands coming from AI and Edge Computing – and this is a whole new recipe for an Enterprise Information Technology Organization.
Many organizations are already evolving their structure, roles, responsibilities, and skills with the goal of excelling in this new world. I might suggest that all IT Leaders consider evolving their organizations and people.
Chief Technology Officer