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Information Technology is brain dead. Wait, doesn’t IT showcase brainpower?

Published on : Aug 23, 2017         Author : Shriram Viswanathan
Information Technology is brain dead. Wait, doesn’t IT showcase brainpower?
Well, the disclosures first. I am a product of the IT industry and a recipient of all the good it has provided. So, it is emotionally draining for me to make that statement. However, truth be told, it is utterly bitter for me than for any one reading this.

Introspection will provide that proof, maybe partially for the optimists and maybe fully for the realists.

IT was created to solve problems for businesses struggling to adapt to computers. It was a thing reserved for the software engineers with special educational training, lots of brainpower, logic, algorithms, and then we added other esoteric things like GUI/UI and databases, networking etc. Later, new buzzwords (Big Data, AI, automation, Bots, and you may know more of them but they don’t matter) were added and they did yield results, but only IT teams could understand these buzzwords.

Fast forward to today, and with cloud and many or all services available on demand, with less or no IT involved, businesses are solving those problems much more efficiently than depend on IT teams to understand and resolve them.

New-age products-on-the-go can solve business problems, what IT was created and supposed to do two decades back. And, they are solving it far more effortlessly, painlessly, efficiently and in a cost-effective manner. Why do we need IT then? What happens to all those invested in IT?

Let us take a pharma example. The molecule being developed must cure a disease. The pharma company’s own R&D is embedded and focused on many more things, but unless the company cures a disease and in a proven manner, it is all pretty much internal to the company. On the other hand, IT is like the R&D of a business, but with open technologies taking shape each day, this global scale R&D is available almost instantly, widely and accurately today. So, why build it?

Well, it is not doomsday yet. IT needs to solve ONE problem efficiently. Can IT evolve into a business focused, problem solving machine?

That means IT MUST SOLVE ONE PROBLEM and solve it for the world. (run it like a business). But, they were never trained to look for the business problem (disease), let alone solve the business problem (cure). They continued to look for IT problems and solve it with their jargon/logic (R&D).

Therefore, in conclusion, IT should first accept they are at an inflection (reflection) point. From R&D (don’t get me wrong here, R&D is vital for growth and its existence, it is the only innovation spot in your organization), they need to evolve into a business that solves a problem.

Well, the IT industry continues to do too many things. It needs to be split into focused business solving prowesses.