This article from IT World Canada – IT shops face fuzzy future by Rosie Lombardi is another take on the Gartner statement regarding the demise of the IT function as we know it. She digs a little deeper and makes reference to the book “Does IT Matter?” by Nicholas Carr, published in 2003. You can get some more of his perspective from his blogs of the subject. I haven’t read the book yet, but I’m certainly curious to know what he has to say on this.
What catches my interest is that this is not a ‘new’ topic of discussion – new say within the last few months, say when Gartner or a senior HP exec make the announcements, but has been debated by the deep IT and business thinkers for many years now. Here’s a good debate from the Harvard Business Review on the topic of ‘Does IT Matter” – from June of 2003. Nicholas Carr makes some sense when he discussed the move of IT to a commodity and utility and the impediments and obstacles in its path.
From my point of view, based on what the experts like Carr say, IT is at the mercy of the vendors who provide technology services and technology hardware and software. We, as IT managers and facilitators have relied too heavily on what the ‘vendors’, masquerading as consultants, provide as strategic advice. We need to start thinking for ourselves and start telling the vendors what we want and need and are willing to pay for. After all, who is the customer here?