In a discussion last night between the Enterprise Irregulars, Thomas Otter commented about Michael Krigsman 's post Is IT becoming extinct? as follows
"..extinction prophecy is nothing new.... I'm sure somewhere in Ramses's tomb there is a bit of hieroglyphics on this matter."
Actually I think in the new movie which predates Ramses by a few thousand years I believe I saw the prophecy it in at least one scene -)
Specific issues I have with Michael's POV:
a) Social Software and SaaS have between them penetrated less than 5% of all enterprises. Both are extremely promising, but hardly mainstream. Michael seems to have been influenced by a mindset prevalent in some social computing circles that the CIO and IT is the "enemy"
As I commented on Shel Israel's blog this weekend:
"I am amazed how arrogant the category of social software really is. Why does it feel the need to boil the ocean, change the enterprise? It has its role particularly in collaboration - but along side not instead of CRM, SCM, ERP, security, telecom and a bunch of other software categories. It needs to do its job well, not worry about the rest of the enterprise.
When it hones its focus and shows appropriate payback, it will find the CIO or IT is not the enemy. Just a bunch of folks trying to juggle a wide range of competing technology initiatives."
b) Alienation of IT? There are today more CIOs reporting to the CEO or COO than did 5 years ago when the CIO was banished to the CFO domain after the Y2K, ERP and ebiz overruns.
Jim Champy's new book Outsmart! celebrates this next-gen CIO and IT.
c) Nick Carr's book IT doesn't matter pointed out technology was so pervasive so as not to provide a competitive advantage. The big “aha” since he wrote that in 2003 is that most organizations have not taken advantage of this pervasive availability and unbelievable economics that startups in the Valley and elsewhere are leveraging.
Michael gives IT procurement way too much credit. In most companies the bigger IT and telco vendors soak up 80%+ of IT budgets. Criticize the $ 5000 a gallon printer ink, the 90% margins in software maintenance, the $ 4 dollar a minute roaming mobile calls larger vendors have gotten addicted to.
As they squeeze these costs, most IT groups are freeing up more budgets for innovations - yes even for social computing and SaaS. But also telemetry, mobility, virtualization, predictive analytics and more. May the best ROI projects rise to the top. And because there are so many promising technology projects, the CIO is becoming the arbiter between all the business process executives. The old vendor line of bypassing the CIO and going to the business executive works far less than it did a few years ago.
I could keep going...suffice it to say I have a feeling when we make a movie about 10000 AD we will still be projecting IT's extinction.