Opinion: A lack of IT workers spurs reader response

Readers have a love/hate relationship with IT

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"If there is anyone alive that thinks you can hire a $15-per-hour person to design the next service-oriented architecture that will not only work but will actually create business value, I have a bridge I'd like to show you.

"My original intention was to show that there are more open IT jobs than ever and fewer people interested in getting into IT than ever. That is still true. My second consideration was that it was up to industry and business to realize that this stuff is not a commodity -- at least not the important stuff. I felt bad when my dad was replaced by a computer in 1980. He knew he could feel bad for himself and tell everyone how the company he served so loyally stiffed him, or he could suck it up and recognize that there was a legitimate business reason for doing so. He didn't like it, but he understood it. His function was more efficiently and economically handled by a machine. It sucks, but it happens. He decided he was going to put himself in a position where that couldn't happen again -- where he could not be considered a part of a process. He got strategic. He figured out the logic behind replacing him, and then thought about what would happen next. Lord knows I have no idea, but he did. He put himself in position to take advantage of a new opportunity that didn't exist before the machine, one that nobody else thought of either because they were only focused on the tactical. Five years later, he could have run the company, but bailed. He figured out the entire industry he was in was going to move offshore. He went well before it did.

"So the moral is as follows. If you are a business guy, stop being an idiot, cut costs and automate tactical tasks in IT and everywhere else, but as soon as you lose your ability to be strategic or lose the ability to take advantage of IT the way you might have been able to had it not all been in Qzabarkistan, you are toast. That's the time the IBM Global Services guys start driving around the block like sharks in a chum zone. 'Pay me now, or pay me later.' Businesses need to recognize that they simply can't outsource brains -- only brawn, and while it may be operationally cheaper, the loss of control makes even outsourcing brawn a problem eventually." -- Anonymous

Send me your questions -- about anything, really, to sinceuasked@computerworld.com.

Steve Duplessie founded Enterprise Strategy Group Inc. in 1999 and has become one of the most recognized voices in the IT world. He is a regularly featured speaker at shows such as Storage Networking World, where he takes on what's good, bad -- and more importantly -- what's next. For more of Steve's insights, read his blogs.

Copyright © 2006 IDG Communications, Inc.

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