The future IT organization must address the dual demands of improving the performance of its services while increasing the impact of those services on the firm's bottom line. In most firms, the IT unit will become smaller over time but will necessarily possess greater expertise in both technology and business processes. Most important, IT resources will be aimed at the organization's strategic needs.
The outsourcing of IT tasks seems likely to grow if IT management learns how to handle all the challenges. Then IT executives will focus their time and energies on the highest value-adding responsibilities, such as helping top management identify strategic opportunities and developing the blueprint for a solid IT infrastructure.
The IT unit of the future, even if smaller, will be more critical to its firm's operations. Effective IT units will help their firms apply IT to redesign processes and access needed information on a tight budget. Those who fail to address the eight imperatives, or who are unable to convince line management to undertake its leadership role in both IT-enabled strategy development and systems implementation, will be unable to support their organizations in a fast-changing, competitive world.