Saturday, January 24, 2009

There are no new ideas

If you spend any time around me, you’ll hear me say this phrase somewhat regularly.  As I have now been working in the IT industry for 10 full years, obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Business Computer Information Systems and a Master’s degree in Information Technology, it becomes more and more clear to me that there are no new ideas, only a new way to implement the same old ones.

For instance, take ERP system such as SAP and PeopleSoft.  There is absolutely nothing new about putting your business information into a computer.  In fact, the only new about the an ERP system is that is has more information available, in a shorter period of time, and in a way that people can understand. Hmm, that sounds a bit like a chart… more information available, short time, more people can understand…. exactly.

The same goes for the various kinds of computers systems that run today corporations and small business.  30 years ago we talked about virtualization on the mainframe, and now we talk about on mid-range or mini-computers.  Still virtualization, still the same old making one computer look like or act like many computers at the same time.

I find that extraordinary.  So, really, the big ideas are not new, only new ways to implement the same old ideas that have already been proven successful decades, centuries or millennia ago.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Master of Information Technologies

After completing my Master of IT in May of 2008, I’ve now had some time to reflect back on both the experience and it’s implication for my daily work as an IT professional.

Probably the most startling revelation that I take away from the experience is that most IT people are IT because of the technical interest.  That IT is any help at all to the BUSINESS, is only coincidental.  As IT people, struggling with the bits and bytes, we sometimes loose sight of what all our efforts are for. 

If IT people fail to see how IT can help the business, we’re all doomed to failure.  We must, as individuals, departments, divisions and companies understand how IT is critical to the business (whatever business that may be) and strive to find how IT can serve and not be served.