IT Confidential: 10 True Things About Technology - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Business & Finance
Commentary
7/21/2006
05:20 PM
John Soat
John Soat
Commentary
50%
50%

IT Confidential: 10 True Things About Technology

The unvarnished truth in 10 simple, penetrating bulleted items.

People love lists. especially people on the Internet, apparently, where a story incorporating a list will generate thousands more hits from readers than one without. Since journalism these days is all about generating Web site hits, I figured I'd better come up with a list. So I thought of a catchy, list-oriented headline, and all I had to do was generate the appropriate bulleted items. It's not the first time the catchy headline came first and the story followed (and it won't be the last). So here's my list, in no particular order, except it seems you must do the countdown thing.

10. Government regulation is not a friend to technology. This one's a bit obvious, but it bears keeping in mind. If you think Sarbanes-Oxley is a headache, wait until the privacy laws start rolling out of Washington. Soon, really soon.

9. Information technology will never not be complex. And that's not because of something inherent in software. It has to do with bureaucracy and vested organizational interests, at the vendor level, the corporate level, and the end-user level.

8. Consumer technology will drive you crazy. That's because it always will be ahead of the demand curve. Consumer technology is not about filling a need, it's about creating a demand for something (young) people didn't know they wanted.

7. Information technology will break your heart. Sounds like a country song, but it means that IT always will be behind the demand curve. IT managers can imagine more than they can implement; vendors promise more than they deliver.

6. The technology industry loves to build things up, then knock them down. Or maybe that's technology journalists. It's a cycle very common in our culture (politics, sports, Hollywood.), but nowhere is it more deeply ingrained than in the tech industry. Think neural networks. Or Scott McNealy.

5. Software wants to be free.This is an old chestnut from the hippie-geek days that Microsoft stomped on, set fire to, and pushed over a cliff. Except the open source movement recovered it and revived it, and the application services providers made it work.

4. The article "IT Doesn't Matter" doesn't matter. Also a bit obvious by now, but as an object lesson it bears remembering (see item No. 5). If your boss still brings up that article, wince painfully and make little ship sailing-motions with your hands. Then shut off his or her spam filter.

3. Consumer technology matters, but not as much as people think. Apple's products aren't nearly as innovative as they're being given credit for these days. I don't care how cool Steve Jobs is.

2. Civilians--lay people, the great technologically unwashed--mostly fear technology, because they don't understand it, they don't trust the people who run it, and they're still not convinced the technology equation will ultimately prove advantageous to them. It's called common sense for a reason.

1. Only a small, self-selecting group of people refer to technology--software code, a network router, a Web browser--as "sexy." Those are the people you want working on your IT team. As for the poker nights, basketball games, or book clubs they may--or may not--want to join in on, you're on your own.

Got any items to add to the list, or an industry tip? Send them to [email protected] or phone 516-562-5326.

"The News Show" doesn't need lists--it knows how to hold an audience spellbound. Watch and see, if you dare, at noon EDT every weekday, at TheNewsShow.tv or on InformationWeek.com.


To discuss this column with other readers, please visit John Soat's forum.

To find out more about John Soat, please visit his page.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
The State of IT & Cybersecurity Operations 2020
The State of IT & Cybersecurity Operations 2020
Download this report from InformationWeek, in partnership with Dark Reading, to learn more about how today's IT operations teams work with cybersecurity operations, what technologies they are using, and how they communicate and share responsibility--or create risk by failing to do so. Get it now!
News
IT Spending Forecast: Unfortunately, It's Going to Hurt
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  5/15/2020
Commentary
Helping Developers and Enterprises Answer the Skills Dilemma
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  5/19/2020
Slideshows
Top 10 Programming Languages in Demand Right Now
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  4/28/2020
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
Key to Cloud Success: The Right Management
This IT Trend highlights some of the steps IT teams can take to keep their cloud environments running in a safe, efficient manner.
White Papers
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Sponsored Video
Flash Poll