Watching the Pendulum Swing

If you have been around IT for a while, you tend to see macro trends that occur over the years.

Centralise then decentralise is a really common one. This could be “Centralise the service provision for the organisation”, usually followed 2 years after by “We are moving IT back closer to the consumers in the business”.

Another common one is “Outsource everything”. Again, usually followed by “Insource everything” just a few years later.

Part of this is human nature. If you have a management change, it is highly unlikely their brief is “Things are going great - keep them JUST as they are…”. Typically the brief is “Make significant change.” Whether that change is beneficial to the business depends on your point of view and method of measurement!

But there is a nuance that happens here that many people miss in the “hype” of the “big swings”. It is the “micro swings” that take place “under the radar” that are, in fact, more durable, more meaningful and have a deeper impact.

For example, the big swing away from managed end-user devices to Bring Your Own Device. The micro-swing is “Let users choose their own applications to get their work done”.

A big-swing could be seen to be Cloud Computing - often seen as a form of centralisation. But the micro-swing is democratisation of access to compute, with lots of little innovations and ideas that take root in this environment. I am not simply talking about the start-up community. Rather, within Enterprises, the desire to let innovation take root and thrive with a different governance model is a significant “micro swing” taking place.

Are you seeing the micro-swings in your industry? Don’t blink - you might just miss it!