The expectations placed on IT departments these days are anything but realistic. In fact, they’re downright ludicrous. For the past half-century, IT departments have been the go-to place for almost all things business-related. From ensuring infrastructure is continually up and running to tackling application integration projects, building new products, and even making sure phones have a dial tone—everything falls on IT’s shoulders.

The reality is that there is now an inherent lack of cycles. Pair that with the highly verticalized expertise and specializations required for today’s modern business environments, and the challenges begin to rear their ugly heads. For example, if there is one constant in business, it’s that—due to ever-evolving demands—IT seldom has the bandwidth to meet every business objective. In fact, business demands often exceed the team’s ability to deliver.

Yes, there is the challenge of simply not having enough team members—but that’s not the crux of the issue. More commonly, there is a limitation as it relates to skillsets that are simply not an in-house capability—such as in AI and machine learning, Internet of Things (IoT), Augmented Reality, and more. All of this, combined, places too many unfair burdens on IT and erodes IT’s productivity. When stretched so thin that IT leaders must choose between maintaining mission-critical systems and applications or chasing a new architectural approach, things are inevitably going to slip.

For instance, let’s use the cloud as an example. Cloud computing is the undeniable epicenter of automated communications, connectivity and experience. However, migrating data to the cloud and managing it internally is often too complex and time-consuming for businesses to do themselves. Like all newly emerging technologies, certifications in the major cloud platforms are a must to ensure a smooth transition, a future-proofing investment, and to remain on course as it pertains to product roadmaps and new endeavors.

The reality of tackling new digital initiatives that cross multiple IT silos—including cloud solution integrations, developing new software-based products that result in market acquisition and enhanced customer experiences, and analytics that drive better business decisions and direction—result in nothing but monumental challenges for almost every IT department. Moreover, with architectures rarely—if ever—being able to natively integrate with one another, it’s often difficult to know where to even start. Generally speaking, these types of projects are also associated with the enormity of the digital landscape—which is so overwhelming that even the starting point becomes difficult to define.

The good news is that there is a light at the end of that tunnel. And IT can sit firmly in that light—if they choose to.

As the complexities of the new digital ecosystem continue to grow, IT has grown along with them. The days of being all-things-to-all-people are fading. Instead, we are seeing the ushering-in of the consultative figurehead. In fact, IT has truly now become the rock stars of finding solutions more so than creating them—vetting everything from new technologies to partnerships and more. What this means is that IT can still be all things, but with a far more managerial approach. Augmenting team members with highly defined outsourced skillsets, tackling new projects in a more agile and partnered way, and relying on industry experts continues to place IT departments exactly where they should be—driving business innovation and success, and being in charge of it all.