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IT Hype Fatigue and the Economic Downturn

I don’t know about you, but I have worked in the IT industry for a while and I still see a lot of the jazz and hype in terms of what IT can do for companies. Here are some typical statements:

“IT can transform your business”
“IT working with you as a strategic business partner”
“Achieving competitive advantage in business with IT”

Innovation is another term that we all love to use. Innovation to me should be more than just good quality creative solutions based on industry practice to suit the client environment, it is transformative. Why not read more and join my POLL...

 I remember attending a conference around 1 year ago and one of the speakers was a well respected researcher for one of the top management consulting associations in the UK. Her speech consistently emphasised the need for innovation. During the Q&A session I could not resist to ask the question, “Can you give me one example of innovation you have come across during the course of your research?”. The answer that came back was “…the use of the offshore model”. She admitted it was old, but was all she could come up with, what does that tell us?

My view is that in general (there are some exceptions of course) IT is first and foremost an enabler to business, rarely a game changer. This view is not just held by me, Nicholas Carr has popularised the debate with the statement, “IT doesn’t matter”. Sharon Taylor, the ITIL V3® chief architect, goes further and argues that “Business is no longer enabled by IT; it is inexorably dependent upon it.”

In the current economic environment, it is important to get back to basics and get your operations working effectively. IT Service Management projects based on implementation of industry best practice processes must be attractive, for two reasons:

  1. They do not really require a huge capital investment, more tweaking and tuning of the organization.
  2. As major projects are cancelled the operating environment is fairly stable, a great time to take stock and look at efficiency opportunities.

ITIL V3 Service Operations also offers this graph, which shows a zone where you can “have your cake and eat it”, i.e. lower cost and higher quality:


© Crown copyright 2007 Reproduced under license from OGC

IT companies that can offer their clients services that are based on enhanced efficiency, transparency and operational excellence in the field of IT service management should see the current economic threats as a real opportunity…

ITIL® is a Registered Trade Mark of the Office of Government Commerce in the United Kingdom and other countries

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