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
- Best iPhone, iPad Business Apps for 2014
- 14 Tech Conventions You Should Attend in 2014
- 10 Desktop Apps to Power Your Windows PC
- How to Add New Job Skills Without Going Back to School
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
Red Hat Enterprise Linux - The Original Cloud Operating System
Linux adoption is growing against a number of measures, such as the
number of supercomputers that run Linux and the size of the contributing...
- OpenStack Hype vs. Reality: CIO Quick Pulse Open-source architecture can enable IT departments to build infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) clouds running on standard hardware.
- Future Focus: What's Coming in Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) Find out why Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) solutions that are truly future-ready must be designed to enable Machine-to-Machine (M2M) capabilities and much more.
- The CIO's Guide to Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) This guide will help those making an EMM platform decision make the best choice for their organization.
- Live Webcast 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...
- Testimonial: Cystic Fibrosis Trust Peter Hawkins, the Head of IT for Cystic Fibrosis Trust, discusses the role CommVault's Simpana software platform plays in improving the company's information...
- 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... All Management White Papers | Webcasts