Computerworld - Kicking up the debate on the future of IT another notch is Nicholas G. Carr's sure-to-be-controversial contention in this month's Harvard Business Review that the pervasiveness of IT will soon make it strategically irrelevant. Summing up his position is the article's headline: "IT Doesn't Matter."
Bam! Now there's a stance sure to stir up some conversation around the data banks. (An interview with Carr runs in this week's issue.)
On the one hand, the very pervasiveness of IT, coupled with two other trends -- the increasingly technically literate population, and the rising integration of computer technology into everything from cars to clothes dryers to clothing -- severely diminishes the mystique that has always surrounded IT.
The idea is that IT has become as ordinary, albeit as key, as the less glamorous accounting or manufacturing departments. You can't run a company without them, but they're nothing to get excited about. Everyone has these departments, and they pretty much do the same things. Carr reasons, then, that these departments have lost whatever competitive or strategic edge they might have once provided.
And there is some truth to that. For example, right now, we're all using cell phones, desktop PCs and laptops, and a goodly portion of us are using wireless devices. Yes, there will be another wave of technology. There always is. It's like a force of nature that you can't hold back. Carr is right again when he says everyone will eventually line up to use that next advance in technology, creating a level playing field. For him, it's enough that IT filters, adapts and manages these evolutions.
But technology has the potential to succeed in permeating almost every aspect of our lives and the products we use. Some might say that creating all that new stuff won't be IT's job. The R&D, manufacturing and design groups will be responsible for weaving technology advances into consumer goods. The question, then, for IT folks is: What role will we play?
IT has more to offer than mere supervision. It could become a combination of tech adviser and testing lab for many of these products. Or it could morph away from building pure technology systems that run a business and toward building technology into the services and products the business sells. You can't get more aligned with business goals than that!
General Motors is off to a good start here. Corporate CIO Ralph Syzgenda years ago teamed each of his group CIOs with specific department heads. He wanted his CIOs to understand the business they were serving and to be
- Study: Total Economic Impact of Google Apps Employees can work faster and IT spending can decrease when companies switch to Google Apps, says a commissioned study by Forrester Consulting. Going...
- Protecting Digitalized Assets in Healthcare Healthcare providers face an urgent, internal battle every day: security and compliance versus productivity and service. For most healthcare organizations, the fight is...
- Is a SaaS Deployment Right for You? Find out the answer and as well as the other deployment options.
- Discover How Mail Express Solves 2 of Your Biggest IT Headaches Email. It can be the source of some of IT's biggest headaches. As it eats up storage and bandwidth, it also opens up...
- Increasing the Value of Your Reports and Dashboards Learn how incorporating other analytical capabilities such as predictive modeling and visualization can increase the value of your reports and dashboards by providing...
- Video surveillance for IT: maximum image quality, minimum bandwidth Join us on Thursday, May 8th at 1 p.m. EST when Willem Ryan, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Avigilon, will discuss how IT... All Management White Papers | Webcasts