COVID-19 aftershocks to trigger fourth IT wave

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Wednesday, 10 March, 2021

COVID-19 aftershocks to trigger fourth IT wave

Australian businesses expecting a return to normality in 2021 in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic are in for a rude surprise, according to a new report from IBRS.

The research firm is predicting that, even with a vaccine available, the pandemic will continue to cause sporadic rapid changes to work practices for the foreseeable future.

In the report, IBRS argues that a fourth wave of ICT architecture is emerging that has been tailored to meet the persisting challenges of the “age of uncertainty”.

Eight principles will drive the new era of strategic thinking, the report states. These are “time is of the essence”, “efficiency is the focus”, “integration is the norm”, “ICT delivery location is not essential”, “control-oriented enterprise architecture is inadequate for the digital world”, “the future of work is disruptive collaboration”, “AI is for business value” and “low-code everything”.

IBRS advisor Dr Joseph Sweeney said these principles are more complicated than they appear at first glance.

“Many CIOs are underestimating the long-term changes to expectations of ICT groups. In particular, non-staff are increasingly engaged in the process of digitisation of all aspects of the business. This is not just low-code software development. It’s low-code integration, analytics and even machine learning,” he said.

“Low-code everything — operating as shadow IT. The coming wave of ICT will shift from monolithic solutions, be they in the cloud or locked away in data centres, to a blend of core systems sitting within a low-code fabric. The change for ICT groups is tectonic.”

In addition, fourth-wave ICT will comprise a number of changes geared towards increasing efficiency and response times while reducing risks. These include prioritising business performance over delivery perfection and throwing out excessive controls in favour of efficient ones, the report predicts.

“Even though we have vaccines, COVID-19 will continue to pop up unpredictably for another two years at least, causing organisational disruptions, supply chain interruptions, financial uncertainties and employment risks wherever it rears its head,” Sweeney said.

“IT organisations have a critical role to play to help businesses survive, by changing the way they operate. Essentially they need to overcome the inability to react quickly to change, do away with long implementations and launch business performance improvement initiatives.”

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