New Technology Trends Will Impact Traditional IT Roles

We’ve become fairly comfortable with the structure of our IT organizations, but new trends in technology product development are increasingly challenging these traditional models.

In the traditional (i.e., over the past 10 years or so) IT organization we have roughly aligned the organizational chart with a logical stack corresponding to our data processing footprint. We have Network Engineering, which is roughly focused on layers one through four of the OSI Stack. Systems Engineering, focuses on the servers and the O/S instances running on them. The business applications are sometimes served by a general development/QA/Test team or may be aligned vertically with the business units served by the applications. Data is often managed by business-aligned “data owners” and administered by one of the engineering teams. A Security team cuts across stack layers, accounting for access control as well as the broad array of IS Security concerns throughout the stack. An IT Operations team is accountable for Technical Operations processes and procedures and the general availability and integrity of the data processing footprint. The Telecom team is often bolted onto the IT organizational chart in some fashion, and frequently has a historical lineage outside of the IT department. It’s important also to include IT Facilities in this mix, as it is the foundation for the successful operation of the stack.

This model is under attack though, as new technology introductions are having a significant impact on our approach to casting the roles and hierarchy in our IT organizations.