Why are you still buying IT? Does it make any sense to keep buying IT when you could buy services that actually do something for you? Could you stop buying IT altogether? No and yes. Thinking that you buy services that help your company meet goals is a big mind shift away from “traditional IT”. I am working with more and more customers who are shifting away from buying IT. They buy other services instead. Let’s call them “business services”.
Here’s an example from a customer I worked with last year.
- Half the “IT staff” was gone but “business” had recruited “shadow IT” to replace them
- A lot of services were being purchased around things like “payroll”, “facility management”, “invoicing”
- There was not a single operating model used, instead each contract followed a different setup
Having worked both sides, I can tell you that this situation is trickier than you think. What challenges do customers see? Here are some: How do you build governance around this? How does the IT department stay relevant? What happens when users want a smooth and seamless experience between these services?
IT governance is for those still buying IT
In IT, we are used to working with IT governance models. When we stop buying IT and buy other services instead, obviously we cannot use the same governance model. A payroll system is not the same thing as a payroll service.
What will the IT department do when their organization stops buying IT? There’s probably enough material in that question to write several books. But they will probably be doing two things: Working with developing those IT services that are crucial and unique to the company in question. Working with supporting other departments in their procurements and relationships with vendors, including helping out with integrations. By the way, do you remember my post on success factors for software development organizations? One of the key factors was actually vendor relations.