Why I hate IT

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Keywords: IT, technology, business

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I hate IT, I hate IT, I hate IT. In fact, I cringe every time I hear IT.

What am I talking about? I’m talking about the acronym “I.T.” IT stands for Information Technology. But I guess you already knew that.

And why do I hate it? I never used to, but as the years have passed, I’ve started having an aversion to the term.

I used to be one, you know. An IT’er. And was proud of the fact. I used to imagine the office girls swooning as I walked past with my box of disks, and, maybe a large manual on the intricacies of printers (or similar). That was in the early days.

Then I got a job where they wanted to call me an “Application Specialist”. An “Application Specialist”! Can you imagine?! That was a title for someone who wasn’t really an IT’er. They might as well have asked me to dress in frilly pink.

But – OK – it was a job, and, most of the time, I was…begrudgingly…an ”Application Specialist”, but whenever I got a chance – I was “IT Guy”! I was in charge of the network! With a mere wave of my hand I could enable (or disable) functionality. I was the one who could implement new bizarre network policies (for the good of mankind, naturally), and it was I who held the power to apply patches, and fixes, whenever I deemed it necessary. (Bwahahaa)

Fast forward a couple of years, and I have a new position.  I’m now actually working “with” the business users. I have to “listen”, and then provide a suitable solution. If something needs changing I need to seek their permission, to “justify” it. I can’t just go making changes because I “think” that the changes are “cool”, or will “help” the users. They are the “actual” owners of the system. I am just a custodian.

I didn’t give this any thought, but then, one day, after I had been working with a different department, doing requirements gathering, and helping “them” solve their issues, I overheard someone say “Mark is our favourite IT person”. And I cringed.

You see – I no longer consider myself involved with the “Technology”. I now saw myself as a generalist that “understood” technology, but also understood the business users, as well as the business processes, and was able to “use” technology in a way that was relevant.

And, while I was working through the preparatory material for the CIP examination, it dawned on me – there was nothing on the “technology”. There was only material on how to use the technology.

 So, after a long-winded explanation, I hope you understand, now, why I hate IT.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Comments

Laurence Hart

IT is a Perspective

As I sit here in AIIM's SharePoint class today, people kept looking at me as IT. It is a matter of perspective. If you understand it, non-technology people will see you that way. I will likely never hate IT. I will just hate being considered IT.

-Pie
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Mark Owen

A matter of perception

That's definitely another way of putting it.
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Daniel Antion

I Agree

I'm with you on this Mark. Our department has always been called "Information Services." At times, I envied the IT people and at other times, I tried to distance myself from the "services". These days, I am happy to be in charge of Information Services
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Juerg Hagmann

CIO is a misnomer

Putting the "I" into IT is long-runner. We know that CIOs usually just care about infrastructure (plumbing), means they are responsible for the channels (apps, HW & SW etc.) which transfer information but not the meaning of the information in the business context. Therefore the term CIO is misnomer as they don't care much about information economics and content flows and lifecycle of business information. Forrester has proposed since longer time to shift from IT to BI (business information) because IT has no intrinsic value. It always serves the business. What is so hard about it? Technology is still dominating content as it is easier to measure and to value and to get visibility; information is just intangible and hard to bring the ROI. (you know: "Show me the value" is often heard when defending IM related projects. "If you can't bill it, you can kill it!" So content specialists continue to struggle for their arguments. Now "Information Governance" came on the scene as a new concept. it's still immature but information governance follows a strict business asset orientation. Finally it's less about hating IT but more about getting a complimentary view on it. N. Carr wrote in 2004: IT does not matter! because it should work seamlessly like the water is coming out of the tap. see my blog: New book about Info Governance and how to sell it to the business: http://jhagmann.twoday.net/stories/75232619/
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Mark Owen

Excellent Observation

Juerg - you have described it well. Thanks
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Mike Beauchamp

Hate is Harsh

Is it fairer to say that you (and I) are disenchanted by the legacy of IT? Sounds like you are already part of a transformation where IT is as much a part of business process as it is about the underlying machinery itself. There is a movement afoot described by many, but noted particularly well here...
http://www.thequantumageofit.com
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Mark Owen

Hate is Harsh...

Thanks - excellent comment. Glad to see that you understand exactly what I'm talking about.
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This post and comment(s) reflect the personal perspectives of community members, and not necessarily those of their employers or of AIIM International