Project Management

Digital Transformation and the Death of IT

Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting S.A., a Roatan, Honduras-based management consulting firm with a comprehensive project management practice. Andy always appreciates feedback and discussion on the issues raised in his articles and can be reached at [email protected]. Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

Digital transformation could—in fact, I would argue it should—be the end of IT departments as we know it. A slightly dramatic opening statement to try and get you to read the rest of the article I suppose, but I genuinely think that IT as we all understand it today has a short life ahead of it. Let me start explaining why with a quick look at history.

In the late 1990s, a lot of organizational investment—and by extension, a lot of projects—centered around IT. Everyone was worried about the impact of Y2K. There were a few aspects of that, but primarily it was the concern of what would happen when computers rolled from 1999 to 2000, particularly as most systems had been developed with two-digit years (so 99 would become 00). There were serious concerns—I worked on a project where we paid a former employee $200 an hour in consultant fees to help us solve the problem on a system he had been part of the build team on. That would be a high hourly rate today; in 1999 it was unheard of.

Globally, there were fears that planes could fall out of the sky and many buildings shut down their elevator banks ahead of the New Year celebrations for fear they would stop working. It was a crazy time. And then of course…nothing happened. I won’t say the whole thing was worry over nothing, but there were no major impacts anywhere.

And that led to a …

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