How to Approach Technology Trends With Less Chaos and More Collaboration
Move to the cloud. Become mobile-first. Embrace the digital mindset. Virtualize the data center. With technological innovations moving at warp speed, it seems like there are always new technology trends to embrace. But at the onset of a trend, it’s not always clear which trends to embrace, when to hold back or — once you do decide to move ahead with a technology overhaul — how to make strategic implementations.
While hindsight is always 20/20, it can be challenging to determine what factors in the present will have the largest impact into in the future. But waiting too long on the sidelines to see how things play out can also be detrimental, resulting in missed opportunities and trying to play catch-up with the trendsetters.
With embracing new tech trends, is chaos inevitable? Or are there steps businesses can take to stay innovative without letting things spin out of control? These questions are asked about a lot of technology trends, but they’re especially applicable to the cloud.
Cloud Computing Takes Off
Cloud investments have skyrocketed over the past several years and only continue to grow. Gartner predicts that by 2020, the enterprise shift to the cloud will affect more than $1 trillion in IT spending. And while residing in the cloud is now seen as industry standard, embracing this trend hasn’t gone smoothly for many enterprises.
In a recent ScienceLogic survey cited by Forbes, fewer than one-third of IT managers and professionals said they had the visibility and control they needed to keep cloud in check. While the article noted that the cloud seems to be reducing internal IT sprawl, with 40 percent of respondents saying their company’s data center footprint is smaller than three years ago, only 28 percent say they have a process to control public cloud sprawl, and fewer than half (44 percent) said they could verify the scope of their organization’s public cloud consumption.
Handling Technology Trends
One way to manage these types of runaway technology trends across the organization is to implement more restrictive and hierarchical policies that place more control in the hands of IT administrators. However, such measures come with their own risk of tamping down innovation and can leave IT in the dark about what’s really happening.
For instance, in the case of cloud, shadow IT has become a serious issue. In a recent NTT survey, 77 percent of lines of business leaders reported they have used a third-party cloud application without the knowledge of their IT department, and 83 percent of respondents, including IT leaders, acknowledge shadow IT will only continue to increase over the next two years.
Opt for a Collaborative Approach
Given these kinds of issues, organizations and IT leaders might do better to collaborate with lines of business and empower teams to seek out cloud applications that can lead to more innovation of products, services or processes.
At the same time, collaborating with lines of business can help IT leaders determine what trends matter most — those that have staying power and will need a long-term investment in infrastructure, as well as management policies.
Similarly, because many technology trends like the cloud underpin other technologies, it’s important to plan not only for the implementation but also how to integrate that new technology with other key forms that can further energize innovation across the organization.
Plan for Chaos, Find Innovation
Overhauling technology to adapt to new trends is never without complication. But when IT leaders find balance between allowing a little chaos through collaboration and using traditional, hierarchical management policies to move forward, they’re better-equipped to rethink their IT infrastructure to place their organization at the leading edge.