I thought this was a silly article. It was like I was reading about how 12 year olds plot to confuse their parents to get more access to video games. After complaining to some friends about the whole premise of the article, one of them challenged me to turn the message around. So, big shot, what would you tell management about technology?
Heres what Id say:
1. First of all management technology is an asset that needs to be nurtured like a brand or a customer service reputation. If you dont invest in the asset, its value will fall just like any asset. Just ask Dell or Mercedes what happens when service and quality respectively suffers.
2. And while were talking about all this, remember that while operational technology has definitely commoditized, there are still strategic technology investments we need to be very careful about making. Its possible to make some major mistakes in the acquisition of all kinds of technology, so lets get some serious discipline in the technology acquisition process and, please, dont listen too closely about killer apps at cocktail parties. Everyone knows that alcohol and technology dont mix.
3. Dont forget that technology is still complex, even though industry standards have helped improve integration and interoperability. Listen, while there are fewer moving parts, the way we deploy them still makes the technology world tough to manage and our vendors dont always help us.
Why Are So Many IT Managers So Bad?
Guerilla Tech Budgeting: Finding More Money
IT In 2007: Budget and Trends
Vista Expert: Why I Don't Like Vista|
4. Please stop making exceptions to the governance process. If you want to save money and keep us agile, then do not allow all the flowers to bloom; instead, publish the standards and then stick with them. Every time you let someone off the hook, you make our life more complicated and expensive.
5. Make the companys business strategy as transparent as possible (unless you really dont like talking about your own strategy). The more the technocrats know about the business strategy, the more efficient they will be acquiring and deploying technology.
6. Please make us account for our technology investments. Please make us link them to the business strategy and the impact each investment has on operational or strategic success. In spite of what you may think, we like ROI thinking. Hold us and everyone to it.
7. Stop underestimating the impact the Web will have on business. I am really tired of our thinking that the Web is just another channel. The Web is not an evolutionary channel. Its definitely a revolutionary one that changes dramatically every year. Please allow us to pay close attention to new Web technologies and Web-based business models. By the way, why arent we crowdsourcing our R&D?
8. Listen to my whining about the lack of a discretionary budget. I need some money to try new things. I need to fail fast and fail cheap but without a discretionary budget I cant do either.
9. Please dont acquire any companies until Ive looked at their technology. Never assume that our technologies will seamlessly integrate. Never assume that there are automatic technology gains that will result from a merger or acquisition. Nothing is farther from the truth.
10. Invest in the right people with the right skills at the right price. Reward major contributors and prune out the losers. Theres nothing else you can do to excite the troops more. They need to believe that hard work will be rewarded and that lousy work will be punished.
What would you say to management about technology?