The Backbone of the Modern Enterprise

IT is at a crossroads. Much of the IT organization’s infrastructure responsibilities are moving into the cloud. Its previous control of applications is moving to the line of business. So what is left? How is IT going to exist, persist and thrive in the face of these fundamental changes?

IT should begin by positioning itself as the backbone of the modern enterprise. The IT organization in this modern enterprise is NOT just another corporate service or department in the same vein of facilities, HR and so on. Let me say this again: IT is not a department! Think of IT as the ‘new manufacturing’. But what does that mean?

Enterprises and institutions are, in effect, ‘cloud-ifying’ their business, meaning that applications and business infrastructure is delivered through a cloud-hosted platform. This is most visible in online banking, entertainment, social media, news and retail but it will inexorably take over every walk of life. The economic imperative is overwhelming, and the service experience much superior. Even services not normally associated with the cloud are on the move. We see it within education, government, and medical. The technology is here, and all that remains is its application.

IT: The New Manufacturing

IT New Manufacturing

This IT evolution is exactly why the cost-obsessed culture around IT seems so incredibly myopic. The real opportunity – imperative, really – is for IT to enable the very essence of what modern institutions will – and must – become. IT needs to be elevated, upgraded in talent and infrastructure. IT needs to be repositioned, as nothing will be more important in the decade to come. IT has the power, and can be a catalyst to drive change, not a department that has to be hauled into the future, kicking and screaming.

Frank Slootman
Frank Slootman joined in May 2011 and currently serves as ServiceNow’s President and Chief Executive Officer and as a director. Prior to this, Slootman served as a partner with Greylock Partners from January 2011 to April 2011, and served as an advisor to EMC Corporation from January 2011 to February 2012. From July 2009 to January 2011, he served as President of the Backup Recovery Systems Division at EMC. From July 2003 to July 2009, Slootman served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Data Domain, Inc., which was acquired by EMC in 2009. Prior to joining Data Domain, Slootman served as an executive at Borland Software Corporation from June 2000 to June 2003. From March 1993 to June 2000, Slootman held consecutive general management positions for two enterprise software divisions of Compuware Corporation. Slootman holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in economics from the Netherlands School of Economics, Erasmus University Rotterdam.

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