I like Bob Cringely, but in recent years he has rarely written about anything that I can relate to. However, his new series of I.T. related columns has really hit the mark This week’s column has, probably, the single best quote I have read about the state of I.T. in the 21st Century. The best quote is bold:
“Much of this comes down to the decided lack of professionalism in IT, which is after all a very new job classification. There is a huge difference, for example, between someone with an engineering degree and someone in IT who calls himself an engineer. Real engineers are often valued employees. Their opinions matter and they have real responsibilities. Good companies know engineers are important to their business and treat them accordingly. But IT workers are a commodity and are treated as such. Many IT workers are clueless about the technologies they are working with. They aspire to be project managers and are often not very good at that either.
Into this knowledge vacuum come the vendors, who want to sell stuff, and the consultants like Gartner, Forrester, IDC, and the Yankee Group, who need IT managers to feel uncertain about every decision except the decision to buy something, anything. Then look at the number of “research reports” that are commissioned by vendors. Uh-oh.”
Finally, someone nails it on the head. Real tech talent is not appreicated by modern I.T. departments as they race to the bottom by cutting costs and outsourcing as much as possible. The vendors fill the void left by outsourced I.T. talent, but the company is at their mercy. No internal talent is availlable to seperate the marketing hype from the rare vendor truth, because they have all been traded-in for slick, business focused analysts and anal retentive process nerds.
The rest of the story is good too. Read the whole thing here: http://www.pbs.org/cringely/pulpit/2008/pulpit_20080516_004925.html