With individual business departments gaining increasing control over their IT strategy and purchasing, the role of the IT department is set for a shake-up. Today, IT workers are the architects of business technology - in the future, they will be its consultants.
This transformation, according to Forrester VP and principal analyst Mark Cecere, will see business departments take a more prominent role in building and procuring technology, with IT taking a step back - a model he labels "empowered business technology".
"Empowered business technology is a shared relationship between IT and business with regard to what you build, how you build it and how you deploy it," he told delegates at the Forrester EMEA IT Forum in Barcelona.
"Within an IT organisation, as we move to an empowered business technology model, our people will be doing less builds and moving towards consulting. [This model] will move many IT roles from 'do' to 'consult'," he continued.
"My claim is that empowered business technology will move many [IT] roles from doing - building systems, acquiring systems, maintaining systems - to consulting - providing direction, providing guidance, helping out when emergencies occur," Cecere added.
The trend of businesses taking a lead in technology decisions and implementation could have a profound effect on IT workers, from system architects right up to heads of IT, if it continues.
System architects, for example, will need to become more strategic and act as consultants on business-led technology projects to successfully bring different elements of technology together - much like a certain pop star does with her albums. "Who does the CIO need within the organisation to realise the benefit of empowered BT? I think they need Britney Spears," Cecere said.
"On this CD you have 22 song writers, you have a dozen producers. Somebody had to have the vision for what this product looked liked and somebody had to put together all the pieces and I claim that's Britney."
"We have to have a picture of what the [technology] is, we have to have companies that pull together to do things and make all those people work together. I like to think of architects as the Britney Spears of IT," he added.
Application developers will need to take on a greater oversight role in tech projects so they are aware of what's going on and can provide help when needed.
"Application developers will be less about building a system and they will be providing an oversight to business people that will be building the applications as well as assembling the pieces of those applications," he said.
With IT taking a step back from the nitty-gritty of technology projects, Cecere said senior IT people will have...