[TriLUG] [OT] What's the value of IT?
mattfrye at gmail.com
Mon May 11 13:36:30 EDT 2009
This is a topic near and dear to my heart, and I've* already started
working on a book somewhat related to the question of the value of IT,
so I think this is a topic worth exploring. That said, all of what
follows is free and open thought, available for use, re-distribution,
The question of the value of IT is really pretty elastic. It's
connected, at the very least, to the mission of the parent
organization and how well (or badly) IT is integrated into that
mission, and more directly, to the way the IT organization is
"designed" around the needs of the organization (the focus of my
The tricky thing about value, especially in IT, is that it's relative.
What the IT Director sees as a valuable pursuit may be seen as a
waste of time by a CEO. Does the CEO know what he's talking about?
Maybe not. Ok, probably not, but of course he's the boss, so no
matter how much of a wacko he is, his opinion matters.
I look forward to seeing more discussion on these matters in a wiki, etc.
* The book is actually a collaboration with another TriLUG member.
On Fri, May 8, 2009 at 12:17 AM, Phillip Rhodes
<mindcrime at cpphacker.co.uk> wrote:
> Hey guys, I'm looking for some thoughts from some of you. But first, in the
> interest of full-disclosure, let me give you the back-story and the thought
> process that led me here:
> I am no longer working for Lulu, as of last week. So right now, I'm trying
> to decide what's next for me career wise. I may wind up taking
> another full-time job, but I'm giving a LOT of thought to going freelance
> (and if not now, very possibly in the not-too-distant future).
> Anyway, thinking about something a fellow Tri-LUG'er said to me about the
> need to connect the value that I possess (in terms of skills and
> knowledge) with their needs led me to spending a lot of time thinking
> about what companies (small / medium companies in particular) really need
> from IT. And that led me to backing all the way up to the fundamental
> question of what value IT brings in the first place.
> I'm so fascinated with this question now, that I am actually thinking about
> writing a book on it (independent of whether or not I make a career change).
> Or even if it doesn't turn into a full-fledged book, maybe a whitepaper or
> So, all of that said... I'd appreciate any and all thoughts that you guys
> might care to share on exactly how IT (and I'm using the term in a *very*
> general sense here, basically anything that uses a computer) is
> used in small/medium businesses, how it adds value, what your experiences
> (good and bad) have been, etc.
> To anybody replying to this: Can I ask you to include a note about whether
> or not you're willing to license your response under the GFDL and/or
> Creative Commons by-sa licenses? If I do actually write a book - or use
> this stuff any otherw way, I'll release the finished product(s) under one or
> both of those licennses.
> I've also got a wiki set up for keeping notes on this topic. If anybody
> wants to get more involved and edit the wiki directly, please let me know.
> Phillip Rhodes
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