IT needs to scale up to changing bizscape

CIOL Bureau
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A new report from IDC sees a looming crisis for the information technology
market. Although businesses are becoming increasingly dependent on IT for their

success, IDC believes most organizations' IT is not flexible enough to keep up

with the pace of business change. This lack of flexibility and responsiveness

presents a crisis in the making.

"The ability to respond effectively to market change — to continually
establish and re-establish temporary competitive advantage — is becoming the

single most critical competence for enterprises," said Frank Gens, senior

vice president for Research at IDC. "Dynamic IT is about maximizing IT

flexibility and responsiveness, while minimizing cost, so IT can really

accelerate — rather than impede — the pace of business innovation."

IDC's new study, Hinge Technologies for the Dynamic Enterprise, presents a
blueprint for how IT suppliers and their customers are reinventing IT — with

technologies and approaches that make IT more capable of supporting the

accelerating speed of business change.

The study highlights a dozen "hinge" technologies that support Dynamic
IT, and outlines six design principles that underpin the next generation of

enterprise systems.

  • An end-to-end view showing how operations are tightly and logically linked

    to business applications and data is essential.
  • A service-oriented architecture (SOA) enables greater levels of

    flexibility, optimization, and control.
  • Standards-based modular designs allow organizations to streamline costs,

    increase reuse, and simplify support.
  • A virtualized resource model minimizes disruptions by providing flexible

    access to IT resources through a logically defined interface.
  • Flexible sourcing models ensure that organizations may source IT

    capabilities appropriately using outsourcing, insourcing, or offshoring.
  • Flexible operating cost models encourage shifting more of the IT cost base

    from fixed to variable by taking advantage of flexible, usage-based pricing

    models offered by IT suppliers.

To build a Dynamic IT capability, an organization's fundamental IT resources

— infrastructure, data, applications, interface, and security — must be

transformed into a tightly and logically linked set of "services" that

are available to, yet distinct from, one another. IDC also stresses that the

assessment of all IT products, services, and suppliers must shift to support

these basic principles.

The IDC Executive Insight, Hinge Technologies for the Dynamic Enterprise (IDC
#31371), provides an overview of Dynamic IT, including the conceptual building

blocks and the "hinge" technologies that support the execution of key

business processes as well as deliver greater IT operational efficiency.

Detailed descriptions of the 12 hinge technologies also identify the companies

actively building products compatible with Dynamic IT.