• Access exclusive shipbuilding insights: SSI Blog
  • Find out more: Contact SSI
  • en English
SSI 30th Anniversary
        • Design
        • The most significant opportunities to impact the cost of building and operating a ship are found in the design and engineering phase.

          Initial Design  |  Basic Design  |  Detailed Design

        • Build
        • Even a smaller shipbuilding project is immense in scope and scale. Manage the challenges that are unique to ship construction.

          Prepare  |  Fabricate  |  Assemble

        • Maintain
        • With the majority of a ship’s life taking place after it’s been built, it’s crucial to ensure that the organization has a clear picture of the vessel at all times.

          Assess  |  Manage  |  Repair / Refit

        • MyLearning
        • SSI MyLearning is where SSI users can access detailed training exercises, materials, courses, and certifications. The self-directed training curriculum ensures that training happens on your schedule and when you need it most.

        • Nexus
        • SSI Nexus is the place where users, creators, & implementers of SSI software get together. Here they discuss best practices & industry trends, tackle common challenges, gain access to the latest software, and provide input into the future of the products that bring them together.

        • SSI Blogs
        • The SSI blog is your place to get insights into the intersection of shipbuilding and technology, how our industry is moving forward, and keep up with SSI news. It’s the only place to read the latest from Denis Morais and Darren Larkins, SSI’s co-CEOs.

          Lighthouse Waveform  |  Crow’s Nest

        • Try it Now
        • Already sold? Get access to a trial of our solution.

        • Case Studies
        • See how we’ve solved some of shipbuilding’s toughest challenges.

        • Articles & Papers
        • Read about the future of shipbuilding and technology.

        • Company
        • Learn more about SSI and our leadership.

        • Locations & Contact
        • You need a partner with a global presence.

        • News
        • The latest on SSI and shipbuilding.

        • Events
        • Join us at our next event, conference, or trade show.

        • Partners
        • Learn more about our Platform and Development Partners.

        • Clients
        • See the industry leaders who trust SSI.

        • Careers
        • Help us make the business of shipbuilding possible.

May 3, 2016
GeneralShipbuildingTechnology
ChangingOfIT

I was just at a conference where one of the presenters said “IT should no longer be considered a cost center” He did not mean that IT departments should directly bring in revenue but should be considered more of an investment center in the same way R&D is. This means we need our IT departments to have a more strategic role because decisions by IT professionals will have an impact on profitability of the organizations.

This concept really made me think about how IT has been changing in the last few years. In most of the engagements I have had with companies about improving process and how to best leverage the technology they already have, there has been a strong representation from the IT department. IT could previously be considered a cost center required to support business goals but nowadays they have an important seat at the strategic business table in a growing number of companies.


The old IT department

I think most of us have been around long enough to remember when IT was simply the keeper of all things related to technology. They had the power to divvy out resources however they saw fit. They determined what you had available, when it was available and for how long. Resources were considered a scarcity and therefore valued as much as gold. In some companies this may have caused some inefficiencies because the resources were not always provided in priority of what would produce the highest business value.


The New IT department

I see two main changes in IT departments in the last few years. The first is that the majority of the IT management of software systems, the installation of software, managing/scheduling updates, patches, and the purchase of new workstations/servers, etc. is managed either by a dedicated subset of the IT team or by a 3rd party IT company. The second change is that IT workers are becoming more knowledgeable about the company’s business and therefore can contribute to how the company can use technology to achieve their goals at a high level.

Both of these changes are necessary for how we work in today’s world. Technology is a great thing but it also can make our lives miserable if not implemented properly or possibly by using the absolutely wrong technology. Having IT staff involved more in the business side means they will be able to contribute their expertise on how or even what technology can be used. Also with so much buzz around new technology (Cloud, 3D Printing, IoT, material development, social collaboration, gamification, machine learning, laser scanning, augmented reality, etc.) they will have a good sense if the maturity of the new technology will meet the expectations or meet business requirements.


Transitioning to new IT department

Transitioning from the old model to the new model is not always a smooth transition from my experience. The skills required in the old model are quite different than in the new model. Amongst other things, the new model will require a better understanding of your company’s business. You will need to understand what and why (not just how) information flows between applications and departments.

These new requirements for IT personnel are shaking some organizations’ IT departments. To be an IT professional in this type of organization no longer requires the same skills. The biggest shift I have seen has been at VP and director levels and is slowing moving to the rest of the organization.


Closing Remarks

Since all organizations depend on optimizing technology to be competitive, it is no wonder that the need for technology experts at the strategy business table is a key requirement. Technology used to be just an enabler but now it is integral and is at the foundation of what we all do.

The requirements of our IT professionals are changing as our dependency on technology increases and the rate of change of disruptive technology increases exponentially.

Having IT professionals that have a seat and a voice at the strategic business roundtable is becoming the norm. IT professionals will need to evolve their skills from only revolving around technology and more to understanding the intersection of business and technology.

Post Comments

  1. nick says:

    Bull’s eye, Denis !

    “to understand what and why (not just how) information flows between applications and departments”

    is really the key and, if i might add, to think along those lines distinguishes between the managers with a vision and those who do not.

    Moreover, i totally subscribe to
    “Technology used to be just an enabler but now it is integral and is at the foundation of what we all do.
    The requirements of our IT professionals are changing as our dependency on technology increases and the rate of change of disruptive technology increases exponentially.”,
    and have taken to expanding the above into the fact that no one person can control technology in general any longer: then, the one with a vision imagines what needs doing and the several who control the various components of the technology tapestry figure out how to do it.
    In the end, for those who capture the essentials, it is a never ending, mutually endowing process of growth.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.