CIOs who are worried about a dwindling IT budget should work on technology projects in different departments to access more funds, Gartner analysts suggested at the annual symposium in Barcelona this week.
Gartner predicts that technology budgets will increase considerably while traditional IT will not see the benefit, with only a one percent boost to their annual funds in the future.
To counteract this changing landscape within IT and shadow IT in the business, analyst Tina Ninno said that CIOs must recognise “the beauty of working as a team, as you are actually getting to spend other’s money”.
But the opportunity to work on projects outside the traditional remit of IT will become available if the department works in a “bi-modal” way, Ninno added.
Bi-modal comprises of “mode one” which Gartner describes as the everyday business processes that have a steady budget and are key to standing up everyday business processes. Mode two is the “innovative layer”. Mode two projects could include internal and customer-facing applications, which are increasingly being developed outside the IT department and in marketing.
Moving these processes into mode one, where they become a key part of the business and secured by the IT team, will reaffirm IT’s significance within the business and share increasing technology budgets across departments.
“You have to be a little bit smart,” Frank Buytendijk, research vice president at Gartner, added during the conference. “If you have an efficient environment in mode one; mode one subsidises mode two.”
However, Butendijk warned : “You should not be competing with the outsourcer; the outsourcer is the tool.
“The most powerful CIOs are saying ‘what do we need to experiment with and what is the value.”
To realise this, IT needs a “re-emphasis” of architecture from processes and systems, which Butendijk said “come and go” but also a focus on information, half of which, he added, will come from outside sources over the next decade.
Good enterprises do not take “binary control”, but a managed approach to risk. CIOs who see innovation outside of the IT department should ask an architect to work together with the business or offer seed money to create apps, Ninno advised.
She said: “In organisations where shadow IT runs rampant, I would suggest that they could be reckless. But it is possible to embrace different developments in the organisation by monitoring it.”