As we move ahead in this Internet of Everything era, we’re sure to see more connections and integration—and that’s why technology professionals have to work to understand the big picture, moving out of IT silos and taking an end-to-end business view—with a services bent. The point’s well made in a recent Gartner Insight on the importance of aligning IT strategies with business goals to “remain relevant beyond 2020”:

IT leaders, often operating in “firefighting mode,” fail to look beyond the next task to understand IT service costs or the impact IT has on the business. IT organizations need to develop a service-provider mindset to align IT goals with those of the business
and to be relevant into the next decade.

Gartner analysts Robert Naegle and Jim McGittigan go on to note that tech-centric organizations must move to a services mindset, from supply driven, functionally aligned, and technically siloed to demand driven, customer centric, service obsessed, and process based.

Nicolas Jacques of the Open Daylight Project brings the point home with a positive outlook, as heard in this recording of the “Business Implications of Software-Defined Networking panel discussion at Cisco Live Milan in January.

The old world of “I can solve the problem in my own silo” … just doesn’t fly for most customers … and so what’s great to see in terms of that is the entire industry coming together and saying, “We are going to explore a new way.”

Fast IT infographic_Lance Perry blog

This is where a unified-architecture process steps in—the next logical evolution of the IT journey— providing a consistent methodology that’s embedded into the IT operating model over time. With a unified architecture comes synergies that promote holistic, consistent engagement between IT and the business, including sales, services, and engineering. When IT moves out of the silo and aligns with the business, critical pipelines form between groups.  For example, a pipeline between IT and engineering means that customer needs can be communicated to developers, and, in turn, development can position solutions to meet customer needs. This type of connection fosters higher quality, faster speed to adoption, easier integration, a better user experience, and lower TCO. These benefits together translate to a major competitive advantage, which, of course, is good for business—and what’s good for business is good for IT.

It’s already 2014, with 2020 just around the corner. As an IT leader, it’s time to take your seat at the business table—you’ll get a much better view than you’ll ever see from the silo.

Join the conversation on Twitter via #FutureOfIT. To learn more, visit Cisco Executive Perspectives.


Lance Perry

Vice President

Customer Strategy & Success