The winds of change are blowing. IT department is slowly becoming a power center within an organization, rather than a cost center. For long, it was considered as a cost center because of the grants it would get from business.
Now, the IT department is not just reducing
cost or business, but also generating
income. IT is the growth engine for any line of business today, be it retail, healthcare
A CIO's role is now more important than ever before. . Executives and Boards have started looking at IT department for solutions, new ideas and key income generation.
Today, e-commerce, social commerce, mobile payments, self-checkout
kiosks, and smart phone apps are changing the world at a fast pace. As businesses are realizing where their next
big bucks are going to come from, IT is grabbing an important position in every
stream of business.
IT department now aligns all segments of a business much more strategically. It is the value engine that all businesses were looking for. One can't imagine effective marketing, advertisement, merchandising, supply chain departments without a proper IT strategy.
For example, viral videos can help businesses get more attention from customers than traditional advertisements. Hope you haven't forgotten AXE viral video that generated 2.1 million views, and let to a sharp rise in sales, which is impacted by reviews on the Internet. This is prompting companies to seek reviews on Internet to rope in more customers.
If you are in the retail sector, you can't ignore social commerce and mobile payments. If you are in the banking sector, you can't avoid Internet banking. There are a lot of folks in today's world who check search engines and deal apps on smart phones before taking a decision to buy a product or a service. I check iPhone app Gasbuddy before buying gas. I will surely check Red Laser or Shopsavy before buying something big. Deal-map and Groupon have become a part of our daily lives.
I call the first phase V1.0 wherein businesses used to call IT a value add. Now, it is V2.0. If you are not using IT to improve operations and increase sales, you could be out of business very soon.
This analysis does not draw a comparison between different departments in a business. It is about the rapid growth of IT department within a business, and its transition from being a value add to a key department.