My dear Colleague,
I heard on the grapevine the other day that you think your information technologists are getting a bit above their station. Apparently, they’ve made some suggestions which don’t have much to do with technology. I realise that’s outrageous, and I quite sympathise with your annoyance.
I mean, how dare they. They may actually have business and management degrees, but they work for information technology. The very idea that they’d know anything about the way business works is patently absurd. After all, you can only trust an information technologist to plug wires into a wall, I quite agree with you on that. You certainly don’t want them to take on anything more complicated, because lets face it, when you’ve given them complicated tasks in the past, all you got was fail, fail, fail.
That big system that didn’t deliver? You know that if you’d just had different technologists, everything would have been fine. Or maybe they were personally OK, but they chose the wrong technology. Whatever the reason, the IT folk are personally, absolutely to blame. I mean, you tried to tell them what you wanted, didn’t you? But they were all too bits-of-tin and spools-of-wire to understand.
The best thing to do is treat your IT colleagues like glorified order takers. Like, for example, you’re in some really expensive restaurant. You want them to show up, and ask you what you want, and go away and get it. You want them to do it often enough that you never want for anything, but not so often you get annoyed by all the attention. I mean, the best IT person is the one that just does what they’re told, right? Even better if they’re like that perfect waiter in the perfect restaurant that knows what you want without even being told.
Oh, and I know you’ll agree with me that you can’t ever like the price you’re charged no matter what. Yes, its an expensive restaurant, and you can, like, buy the whole place if you want, but you have a duty to drive value. Because you just know, no matter what you say, that once your IT folk and their vendor friends get together, there’s going to be some kind of cash-spend party where they buy just anything with a few blinking lights that takes their fancy.
But anyway, lets get back to the point, which is ensuring that IT doesn’t get out of its box.
You know, there was a time when we didn’t even need the box. But now, all these upstarted IT people think they know the business as well as we do. They imagine that just because they’ve built a few systems that happen to work and which we now rely on completely, they understand what it was they were doing when they designed those systems.
So I understand how offensive it is when they come yammering away at how they can improve a particular business process, or implement a new customer channel or something.
And don’t even get me started on the subject of digital. Yes, I get the fact that the internet is, well, technology, but lets not forget that we know more about the business and the customer than anyone. That makes us uniquely qualified to be the font of all knowledge on how we will do digital, even though I know that some of those techies have actually run scale digital businesses of their own.
Anyway, any kind of business that techies could be involved in are not the same as the ones we’re involved in, right?
Anyway, I think I’m at the point where we almost don’t even need the techies. I know that you – like me – are on twitter constantly, have our own Facebook pages, and can even build workflows on Sharepoint. I know we used to ask the techies to do that stuff for us, but these days, I just get a few business grads in who’ve done a few technology subjects to do the work.
So much easier than asking those people with business degrees over in the IT group. Somehow, I just feel better knowing that they aren’t employed there.
Frankly, its obvious the time has come for us to stand up for ourselves. Just the other day I caught our CEO having a business meeting with the IT guy. You know that if we don’t take action soon, its going to be totally game over.
Anyway, dear colleague, I just wanted to write this to show my support for you. The way those people in Information Technology are going, they’ll think there’s no difference between them and us soon. Next, they’ll be wanting to our jobs directly. Or, even worse, build things we didn’t ask for and don’t control. We can’t have that, now, can we?
We face the sundering of the great wall we built between us and them during the nineties. I know you agree with me when I say I can’t imagine anything more awful than it come down whilst on our watch.
My best regards
Your fellow IT user from the business.