LISBON: IT must move away from non-strategic services, and forge partnerships with the business to deliver transformative applications and systems, according to EMC's new chief strategy officer.
Mark Lewis said in his final speech as president of EMC's Information Intelligence Group at the firm's Momentum conference today, that IT needs to change its operations to deliver what he branded "information advantage".
IT environments will eventually simplify to comprise just three layers: cloud information services at an infrastructure level; composite applications; and a user interface, Lewis explained. However, IT needs to adapt in order to facilitate this transformation and ensure that organisations maximise the flow of information.
"I see a real crossroads for IT. Moving to the cloud and software-as-a-service environments is not about IT being the maintainer of equipment, but a partner to the business for delivering these apps," Lewis said.
"It's where we see an incredible opportunity, but also incredible change coming."
IT needs to cut costs by investing in public and private clouds, and a fully virtualised environment; improve the user experience through more self-service configuring, provisioning and deployment; and embrace user choice in matters such as smartphones, according to Lewis.
IT chiefs must also support the business by investing in applications and systems which can provide a 360-degree view of the customer by sharing information with each other in an intelligent way.
However, the IT function must not forget its role of ensuring governance and compliance, Lewis warned.
"We need to force IT away from the low-value non-strategic services. It has a new role in the organisation and that is not to manage hardware," he said.
"We want to look to IT for the delivery of transformative business solutions. If you can, it will create a competitive advantage and make IT a part of that growth and business agility that can happen today."
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