Not your father’s IT Department

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serversToday’s IT department isn’t your grandfather’s IT department. It’s not even your father’s IT department. When people talk about Information Technology Departments of the past, it's usually broken into three distinct periods: The Mainframe; PCs; the Internet/post PC.

The IT department was seen as the hardware support arm of an organization -- the data center in the basement, out of sight and out of mind until something broke. But with the advent of networked computers and the invention of the web, the next logical phase of IT was managing those environments and the incredible volumes of data that came with them.

Once the business user and today’s data scientist learned of the volumes of accumulated data, the next logical step was to run some form of analytics. In search of answers and insight from the mounds of data, organizations began purchasing all types of analytical software tools. As the phenomenon grew, managing data volume (big data), governance and IT spending also grew.

Today, IT has the opportunity to play an even more important role by providing an enterprise analytics platform as a service. In other words, IT becomes the enterprise analytics enabler (ITEAE). We've defined ITEAE in iteaethree phases: Platform, data and outputs.

The analytics platform phase allows the IT Department to empower the organization’s data scientists, statisticians, and information consumers with an integrated, robust and flexible analytics platform. IT's job is to guarantee a platform that's scalable and secure. They can distribute the analytics platform on commodity hardware, thus controlling costs while meeting the strategic needs of the enterprise.

IT is often seen only as the “keeper of the data warehouse.” An IT department’s data phase focus is, and should be, governance, accessibility, big data storage strategy, data quality and data security. But the IT department can be so much more. An enterprise analytics platform provides IT the ability to manage structured, unstructured, at-rest and in-motion data required by today users.

The third phase of IT as the Enterprise Analytics Enabler is the output phase. The ITEAE platform provides a mechanism to deliver the wide range of requested outputs across the analytical lifecycle of the business.

Want to know more? Learn more about analytics in action.

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About Author

John Green

Principal Solutions Architect

John is a Solution Architect and member of the Enterprise Architecture team. John has worked at SAS for over 25 years always serving in a technical role either in technical support, as the lead for solution design or in the customer facing field of consulting.

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