I suspect this started eons ago in the dark ages of technology when things were fragile and needed a suspender-wearing, bearded, bespectacled fellow on-hand at all times to perform magical incantations to bring back to operational status. When it was all mysterious and only the indoctrinated with the secret handshake had any hope of making it all work again.
The thing is, this was never IT in the first place. It was the most visible part of IT. That fixing part of the job is what people see us do or it's the only time many folks ever get to interact with an IT staffer. We parachute in, magic wands in hand, to perform a faith healing that no one else understands. It's amazing to see, for sure, but it doesn't even scratch the surface of what IT is.
We've started to call our department IS&T for Information Services & Technology. By no means a creative original idea but it's a start at rebranding ourselves from the fix-it staff to something else that recognizes the potential for what we can do for the organization.
Fragile systems are the past. Data is the present. Creative innovation is the now and the near future. Yeah, we do technology. But so does everyone else in the organization. Few jobs remain out there allow technophobes the luxury of remaining untainted by a computer to do the work. Those of us who work purely in the technology realm (formerly IT) need to drive everyone forward by freeing data from its cages and harnessing tools, data, people, and processes together creatively to move businesses to the next level.
That sounds like a pretty exciting career!