I recently got around to watching the movie The Terminator for the first time, and I was struck by how soon into the 21st century the creators thought it would be feasible for machines to take over the world… While we are quite a ways away (I hope) from a technology induced apocalypse, the human relationship with technology is quickly getting exponentially more complex, especially at the enterprise level.
People usually think the IT department’s job to be that of an internal geek squad, fixing technology problems and keeping the company’s network running smoothly. But IT departments deserve so much more credit than that. The IT team is responsible for managing the applications of all of their organization’s departments. The explosion of unstructured (and structured) data has resulted in the emergence of numerous apps for legal, records management, compliance, and business users. And IT departments are now expected to manage and support the backend of all these different solutions throughout the entire company. Information governance especially requires extensive IT intervention. It is incredibly hard for the massive organizations that I work with on a daily basis to stay abreast of the technology shifts in the industry, and that falls at the feet of their IT teams. For something as seemingly simple as managing emails, we have multiple 30+ page documentation guide depending on the type of mail server the company wants to set up. Throw in the fact that IT also must stay informed of the newest versions and service packs of OS, database, java, mail servers, and storage devices and ensure that all are compatible with each other (throw cloud, other apps, APIs, and VPNs into the mix, and it gets crazier), and we get something of an idea of how complex IT can be for the modern enterprise.
Of course, all this work comes from providers like us trying to help make companies’ lives easier. But my hat goes off to all of our customers and their IT departments as they manage this chaotic new world and keep those machines, programs, applications, updates and patches from taking over completely. Or at least keeping them at bay.