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What is IT

What is IT

  IT can be seen as the flow of Information in an enterprise with the use of computing power. How to represent this concept, too many diagrams focus on the physical hardware firstly because it is tangible and also it is a fixed asset but in many ways that misses the whole point, it is the information we are interested in and that is so much harder to represent.

 Therefore the first step is to understand how previous scholars have represented information and not focused on the technology. This has led to the relisation that IS is a key driver in the organisation as the information flow is the method of how services or construction are undertaken in an enterprise. The information flows in an organisation are critical to the efficiency and effectiveness of the enterprise but this does not appear to be the perceptions of the majority of the employees and managers who perceive IT in terms of physical equipment.

 Is IT key to all businesses, to some extent it is depending on the county one lives in. In the UK transactions are increasingly linked to IT, communication through email is also linked to IT and having rolled out an employee self service system to cleaners and road workers, even though work did not provide IT many of their employee services would only be accessible through their personal use of IT.

This relationship changes considerably in 3rd world countries in Africa where much of life can operate with little infrastructure however do not underestimate the speed of adoption of IT in Africa and India is. In South Africa due to the level of violence businesses like cattle sales have removed the need to use cash and operate soley on electronic transfer, no seller or buyer can enter the cattle market without  their bank details.

 There are some key  trends in IT today, outsourcing of the infrastructure layer is still accellarating and this is being marketed as "Cloud". Michael Dell was right in his assessment the biggest challange for the IT community in the next 10 years will be "Security". Skills in IT are also changing where it is now not popular or valued to go into IT in western world countries like it was 10 years ago however this is not the case in India and Asia who will still turn out 100 thousand of IT workers who are highly valued. My view is that outsourcing and cloud will accelerate in the next 3-4 years as IT is vital to the business but in same way power is, cloud is often seen as utility computing but this is very apt. This trend will leave individuals in he busines who are information specialists and this will be the advent of the death of IT and the true birth of IS in many enterprises.

 This concept is demonstrated by a Gartner concept that the IS skills in an organisation will follow a T shape, those that are involved in the business processes and business change will remain in an IS function but those with traditional, very specific complex infrastructure skills will find new roles in outsourced companies or cloud based companies. This is shown in the diagram below:gr

 On the basis that this premise is accepted what are the success factors to outsourcing:

·         Strong and successfull outsouce partner where both parties are ganing a commercial advantage

·         Very strong process and information knowlege in the IS function or the business

·         Robust KPI and service indicators supported by OLA's

·         Keep architecture funtion in house ensuring excellent systems and infirmation flow documentation

·         Ensure that knowledge is still retained on premise otherwise the partnership function will break down

 Outsourcing has now reached levels that go far beyond infrastructure and IT but that is found in a separate section in this site.

 The future of IT

 The future of IT is closely related with computing power, for the last 25 years Moore's Law has been true; this is the doubling of the number of transistors in a CPU.  In the early stages this Law is not that remarkable, as to go from one million to two million does not seem that remarkable but from 512 million to 1 billion and continuing is quite a remarkable feat. There was a lot of evidence to suggest that the Law had come to an end due to the physical limits of not being able to place transistors closer than 32 nano meters apart due to the constraints of quantum physics but the advent of building CPU's in three dimensions and layering die upon die; this remarkable Law is set to continue.

Moore's Law

With computing power set to double each two years computing will continue to embed itself in all aspects of our lives. This will in turn continue to generate and exponential set of data points and information which will continue to power information technology. This leads to the emergence of the two huge forces in IT, Enterprise and Consumer. The enterprise was the dominant force for the first battle phase with the consumer becoming increasingly dominant and agruably overtaken enterprise IT with social media, mobile phones, tablets, use if the Internet, eBooks, media and global collaboration. IBM not provide their employees with an allowance and from this they will procure their own laptop and mobile phone to use both off and on premise. This suggests that the dividing lines between Enterprise and Consumer will be come increasingly blurred and the only aspect left will be information.

There are many other branches of computing such as AI Artificial Intelligence, further in-inbuilt management systems and especially Robotics, all that have a considerable development branches ahead.

To conclude it is all about information, it is envisaged that it will be very difficult to operate without a mobile phone or an information device in the next 10 years. This is not a prediction but a reality where if you have a French Bank account in 2011 and wish to carryout online transactions a French sim card is mandatory.

"What is IT", IT is the flow of information in our society and the Technology that drives it.