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What will the future of IT look like? AddPro looks into the crystal ball

IT is short for information technology, but technology is no longer as important in a world that is in a constant state of innovation. Hardware is not the focus as servers and rack cabinets in basements around the world are retired and data and systems are moved to the cloud. The focus is on function instead. There is also a shift within the cloud where virtualised servers are moving towards standardised platforms and systems - Software as a Service. But what happens to the IT department when running systems is no longer the focus?

Change leader Sara Lindström and IT strategist Klas Ljunggren at AddPro dust off the crystal ball and peer into the future.

IT companies in transition

IT is not the first industry to change since the turn of the millennium. Consumer electronics has made a journey similar to the one the IT industry is currently in the middle of. First, small retailers were bought out or outcompeted by big players. Then the big chains that did not have e-commerce became unprofitable due to price pressure from pure e-commerce.

I don't think the profitability is in the size. It's about delivering value, not big packages. So what should IT companies do? There will be an identity crisis for many IT companies. We have already started our crisis, we are constantly challenging ourselves and looking at where we are going ourselves," says Klas.

The modern company

Companies and IT departments with a traditional approach to work will find it difficult to attract both young and established talent," say Sara and Klas. Salary rarely tops surveys on what people think is important when they change jobs. What's more, many in the younger generation are not attracted by the image of punching into an office and sitting behind a desk.

It will be a challenge for companies to create a structure beyond scheduled working hours. As people now want to work more remotely, IT departments need to keep up and offer flexible working. One advantage large employers have is that they offer security compared to the gig economy, but freedom must not be limited by outdated processes, says Sara.

How will IT work in the future?

Both Sara and Klas are convinced that IT technicians will soon have stopped working with servers altogether, a trend they are already seeing. In a modern IT department, experts work with business systems, produce reports and optimise processes. The IT department has become a system owner who sets requirements. Those who have come furthest with their IT are developing products in collaboration with the business.

We've got the world's biggest Lego box of ready-made pieces, but someone needs to piece it together into a solution that fits the customer's needs. I see the IT consultant of the future as a Lego architect who builds unique solutions for customers and the company's IT is then responsible for making sure everyone works effectively in the system," says Sara.

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are also automating tasks in the IT department. Klas doesn't see this as a problem; he believes that administrative tasks will be automated away, leaving room for more value-creating work and innovation.

The IT consultant becomes a partner for efficiency

Sara thinks the title Digital Travel Manager is getting a bit stale. But the journey manager is needed to help companies build their solutions and then work effectively within them. Perhaps another title will take over as IT matures and becomes more business-oriented. Tailoring an IT solution is not called business development, but now that IT is becoming an increasingly integral part of the business, that's what IT is all about - business development.

It is increasingly important to pool skills and develop the IT department to attract new skilled employees. For it is in skills that profitability lies, not in the size of the company. It's nothing revolutionary, the same thing happened with finance departments: small companies outsource, big companies have their own to ensure skills and skills development," says Klas.

The IT industry of the future will not be built on price or volume according to Sara and Klas, it will be built on competence that creates value for customers.

How AddPro builds a value-creating IT experience

With more and more in the cloud, IT consultants won't be able to deliver technology, hard or soft. Instead, consultants like AddPro will sell access to other people's technology with added value based on experience. As an example, Klas mentions cinemas. Many thought cinemas were going to die when streaming took off, but they are still around because they offer a different experience.

We build systems for our customers from other people's technology, like a chef. The chef hasn't grown or bred what's being cooked, but he knows where to find the best ingredients and cooks something that's much more than the sum of its parts. Our goal is for AddPro to become a digital Michellin restaurant - AddTaste," Sara concludes with a laugh.

Where is your IT department and business headed? Have you started to look into your own crystal ball? With IT integrated into the business, it's faster and easier to take products and services from idea to market. Want to know more about how we at AddPro can help you create the future IT solution for your business? Get in touch and we'll tell you how we can work together to create a better (IT) experience for you and your customers.