Why we sure as hell need IT

Their enthusiasms were encouraged by ‘visionary’ chief executives, who talked about blue-sky projects, shifting paradigms and thinking outside the box. Heinous crimes were committed against common sense and the English language.

Of course, you never now meet anyone who fell for the dotcom (or Y2K) hype – and anyway it all happened in the last millennium.

This is the age of born-again bores, whipped into a frenzy of mediocrity and crashingly-dull moderation by analysts and commentators. They woke up from the dotcom binge with their pants around their ankles and irate investors banging on the door, swearing never to go out on the tiles again.

Technology is now in the grip of the Miserablist Tendency.

There are a few tenets of faith that unite this disparate group of zealous converts.

  • The industry hath reached maturity and we shall never see the Promised land again;
  • double-digit growth shalt not be countenanced for generations;
  • Consolidation shalt gobble up the talented and five great companies shall rule technology as their dominion.

The notion that IT has reached its pipe and slippers phase appeals to the Luddite in all of us. It’s true that we needed to focus on real business goals after years of frenetic activity and unrealistic expectations.

But returns need to be measured by more than next week’s ledger and too much caution can be as dangerous as over-enthusiasm.

UK business needs to find more efficient ways to compete in global markets with a strong emphasis on research and development.

We need to improve productivity, reducing wasted time by giving the workforce access to data when and where they need it.

We need to be able to reduce inventory and to track products and services throughout the supply chain. We may not need the ‘new economy’ culture but we sure as hell need IT.

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