IT managers must 'proactively communicate' IT value: Gartner

Cloud on hold as social media gains popularity in 2011

IT managers are being asked to articulate the value of IT to colleagues, Gartner has claimed.

Addressing a group of IT managers in Sydney, Gartner’s Steve Prentice shared his predictions for 2011, saying that research suggests a clearer line between the business and its IT must be established.

“You need to be able to articulate, and very proactively communicate, the value that IT delivers to the business, because if you don’t, no-one else will,” he said.

“You need to know your assets – not just how many servers you’ve got, but what capabilities you’ve got. Because some point in time, you may be asked to justify what capability you’ve got.”

As well as understanding why IT is important to the business, Prentice said understanding how to manage risk was also important.

“Risk is something integral and essential to what is happening in business today,” he said. “Eliminating risk is not the challenge – managing risk is.”

One area where IT managers appear to be confronted by risk is in the Cloud, with Prentice saying that IT managers are wary about their organisation being the first to take the leap into virtualisation.

“Everyone’s waiting for someone else to take the first step. Why would you want to be first?” he said.

Insisting on independent certification of Cloud solutions should be the first step for IT managers, with Gartner saying that it needs to be demanded by vendors.

“No service organisation is going to incur the costs and problems of independent certification unless it’s worthwhile,” Prentice said. “If you want independent certification, you’re going to have to ask for it.”

Embracing social media was another risk deemed necessary by Prentice, who said the future of innovation in the enterprise was linked to sites like Facebook, with Gartner predicting that 10 per cent of Facebook ‘friends’ will be non-human by 2015.

“Organisations are starting to wake up to the fact that people are using social media to actually find things out,” he said. “That’s where the conversation is taking place.”

Prentice’s insights come as his colleague and fellow analyst, John Roberts, said CIOs are still aiming to achieve business intelligence excellence in 2011.

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