Four Shifts in the IT Framework

Digital transformation efforts have begun to bring new qualities to each of four pillars IT over the past 18 months. These include infrastructure, security, and data. Here are some examples of the changes that are happening now. CompTIA’s whitepaper, A Functional IT Framework, was published in 2016. Interviews with CIOs and other IT leaders were used to help understand the key ingredients of modern IT operations. The paper outlined the four pillars that make up IT.
Infrastructure: This is the most traditional pillar and deals with the hardware, support, and software that form the foundation of IT.
Software Engineering: Software engineering is becoming more important as companies move from packaged software to custom-made applications.
Security: Security was originally part of infrastructure work, but it is now a separate discipline due to the shift to digital business models and the increasing complexity of the field.
Data: The latest pillar, which focuses on the management, analysis, and visualization of corporate information from a variety sources.
Although most companies don’t have separate departments for each of the four areas, the framework helps to define the unique skills and processes that are driving digital organizations. Each of the four pillars has seen new characteristics over the past 18 months as a result of digital transformation efforts. As the pandemic forced firms to act quickly, this evolution accelerated and we can now clearly see how each area has changed to prepare for the next decade in tech strategy.
Cloud computing has been an accepted component of IT infrastructure for many years. There is now a clear choice in building architecture: there must be a cloud-first mentality. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that all applications and systems should be hosted in the cloud. CompTIA research has shown that multi-cloud environments will become the norm for most businesses over the next several years. This includes pieces from multiple cloud vendors as well as pieces that are still on-prem. Cloud is a good starting point, and then you can move to other options as necessary. This will allow for flexibility and resilience. Cloud is no longer something IT teams can consider on a case by case basis. It’s part of everyday life.
Companies started to pursue in-house development over using pre-made applications. These reasons are more important than ever and organizations want to spread the benefits of development as widely as possible. There is now a wider range of development activity. Open source and microarchitecture have reduced barriers to entry, but they are being further reduced by low-code/no code practices. Employees with different technical skills can create databases or automate workflows using tools that look more like flowcharts rather than command lines, depending on their needs. Future challenges include integrating all of this activity into a coherent structure.
We have been working for years to define the characteristics of modern security. Companies have seen a significant shift in their security strategy since the collapse of the secure perimeter. They have developed their technology toolbox and created processes to ensure secure operations. Many of these actions were done in pieces, as businesses struggled to decide which investments to make and how they would measure success. A new framework was created recently that provides a foundational approach to all new security activities. The zero trust model of security totally discredits any “set it and forget” mentality. Every activity must be verified. This mindset is the driving force behind new technology, process and education. Data
The data field has seen the most subtle shift in all four pillars. Companies are still trying to improve the way they handle data. This could be through dedicated staff or structured conversations throughout the company. The majority of this activity is directed at improving data to improve decision making. Data is slowly being integrated into business output. This is best seen in the large number of products that fall within the “internet of everything” umbrella. These products not only collect data to help the vendor learn more about customers and plan for the future but also to change the product’s function in real-time. Companies will move from data-driven decisions towards data-enhanced offerings in the future.