3 Myths That Could Spoil IT's Future - InformationWeek

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IT Leadership // CIO Insights & Innovation
Commentary
9/17/2014
03:00 PM
Sarah Lahav
Sarah Lahav
Commentary

3 Myths That Could Spoil IT's Future

IT leaders need to overcome the myths that keep hurting IT's reputation.

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SaneIT
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SaneIT,
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9/29/2014 | 7:50:38 AM
Re: IT: The State of the Union ?
I have to say that I've seen all of that too.  I got started in IT by accident, I was supposed to be going to work for a design firm building assembly lines but was part of a massive lay off the day I was slated to start.  I got my first and last week's paycheck without even making it past the lobby.  I scrambled for a job and ended up doing desktop support because I had an aptitude for it.  Many years later I'm in that management position but the difference is I came from the bottom up so I understand how IT works at every level and I get a bit irritated when I hear things like "I'll just have my nephew look at it"  because I know that means it will end up with one of my employees spending twice as long fixing the issues once it finally makes it to us.  On the flip side if I'm asked to look at something outside of the company I work for I'm very careful how far I'll go with supporting them.  I will do basic troubleshooting so that they can speak intelligently to another companies support team but I won't go in messing with software settings that I don't understand hoping I accidently figure it out.
Technocrati
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Technocrati,
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9/28/2014 | 3:46:13 AM
Re: IT: The State of the Union ?

"..I don't see BYOD as a problem, I see it as an opportunity to build out solutions that people will actually use."

 

@SaneIT     I agree.  This was a poor reference by me - I really don't have much against BYOD, as long as security is maintained - I don't care how people access data. 

As long as you have some controls it should be a win-win for everyone.

Technocrati
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Technocrati,
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9/28/2014 | 3:29:41 AM
Re: IT: The State of the Union ?

" I agree but what is the solution?  I've hired people who can talk the talk and had the experience but when I turned them loose it was a nightmare. "

 

This is a tough question to be sure.   And I really don't see an answer - because the only answer would be a fundamental reintroduction of IT - with this most companies would have to start over and do it the right way, which of course we both know is never going to happen.   You have people who walked into IT because they have some sort of aptitude for some aspect of the industry.  

Many got they're start by "letting my son do it" or "Wow, you are good with electrical stuff can you head the department ?"  

These people are now bosses who have no clue what IT really encompasses - those are the ones who tell you, your only reason for being is "to assist the user" - all the while telling you this in flip-flops.  Yes, this actually happened to me. 

There are many things to be proud of in tech, but there are equally as many things to be embarrassed by as well.   This fundamental remake of IT will not happen realistically due to execs who have never understood the importance of IT to begin with, to the heads of IT whose claim to fame is that they were able to understand HTTP, load an OS and network some computers before anyone else did.

I thought there was hope, but we are just kidding ourselves and as a result be prepared for much of the same to continue.  In many ways business had one golden opportunity to leverage IT for the power it has and yet again American Businesses for the most part fell short.

pfretty
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pfretty,
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9/26/2014 | 8:56:44 AM
So true!
"You can't release features and expect adoption." I see this far too often, and I would argue it's in part a reality because IT is constantly tasked to do more with less.  However, IT needs to be more diligent in it's ability to encourage use of more advanced thinking and the necessity of moving outside the status quo.  This is especially true as IT organizations introduce more people within the fold of big data analytics. According to a recent SAS survey, organizations struggle dissemenating information across the enterprise.  Yet, there are significant benefits of empowering more people with access to data insights -- most notably turning insights into actions.  However, this nver happens if there isn't promotion and training associate with the release. 

Peter Fretty

 
SaneIT
IW Pick
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
9/18/2014 | 7:44:36 AM
Re: IT: The State of the Union ?
@Technocrati, "There are serious issues in most IT departments, many are holding positions that they are quite frankly unqualified for.   This phenomenon encompasses every title and function. " I agree but what is the solution?  I've hired people who can talk the talk and had the experience but when I turned them loose it was a nightmare.  I get a lot of "oh my nephew loves computers"  and "I'll just have my son look at it" which really makes me cringe.  A lot of IT is being done by individuals with no thought toward the bigger picture and that's hard for some in the IT field to grasp.  I don't see BYOD as a problem, I see it as an opportunity to build out solutions that people will actually use.  The trick is thinking past a single user and their device to deliver solutions that will work across the most popular platforms.
Technocrati
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Technocrati,
User Rank: Ninja
9/18/2014 | 4:43:12 AM
IT: The State of the Union ?

@Sarah Lahav  Thank you for exposing what many consider a decline in the perceived importance of IT.   I agree IT needs to do a better job of proactive promoting themselves.  

There are serious issues in most IT departments, many are holding positions that they are quite frankly unqualified for.   This phenomenon encompasses every title and function.   

While opportunity based on precieved ability is a great aspect of IT -  the field is one of the few that allows those with ability to potentially contribute - there are times when this ability has been miscast. 

This of course results in a whole host of issues both apparent and under the surface.  Of course there is more this issue of IT's reputation  than the ability to do the job  - yet this is a major aspect that leads to BYOD, Shadow IT and all the rest.

 

So while I agree with your arguments,  I really hope those that should be listening your message actually do.

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