Why modern IT solutions are just ingredients to a recipe

This week, IT services company Spiceworks arrived in London for its annual SpiceWorld conference (which apparently has nothing to do with the Spice Girls), bringing together IT professionals and tech marketers from multiple industries.

Whilst there I spent some time with Tabrez Syed, Spiceworks’ VP of Products, to discuss a range of topics centred around the modern IT professional and how new technologies are affecting their day-to-day work.

The key message was that IT technologies and solutions should be viewed as “ingredients for a recipe” rather than individual entities, all coming together as one to drive the business forward. “The world of IT is changing,” Tabrez said, with the focus now on solving “the higher level problems” and using IT to accomplish business objectives rather than simply as a means of keeping the lights on and the computers running: “How the technology is used is changing. The decision around how best to use this technology to move the ball forward, that’s becoming more integral.”

“The key thing for IT pros is to understand the intersection of technology and the business needs. That’s always been important and it becomes more important as more of these tools can automate basic tasks.”

Think of retail as an example. Many high-street retailers are now introducing tablets to their stores for customers and/or employees to do things like check stock levels, compare prices and suggest alternate items. The tablets themselves might be considered a key component of the meal, but when combined with other tools – such as data analytics or stock management solutions – they become a smaller cog in a much larger machine that has the ultimate focus of increasing sales and revenues.

There are of course barriers that will get in the way, such as budget restrictions, industry regulations, shadow IT (which makes everything "a little more complicated) and the sheer quantity of options available (“the beauty is there are lots of options, the downside is there are lots of options”), but the focus should always be on having a “cohesive strategy where all of those things come together to help the business.”

We’re all becoming technologists,” Tabrez says and the successful companies in this digitally-driven world will be the ones who are able to marry up the evolution of IT with the evolution of their business.

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