IT Depts share fate with the Typing pool ?

By all accounts Peter Cochrane’s presentation at this weeks CIO Forum has ruffled a few feathers in the IT establishment. Peter I think made an excellent point calling on the IT industry not to ignore the next generation of IT literate staff, but instead, start to adopt their culture of independence and self reliance.

The culture of the IT literate “young” is not actually to do with a specific generation, I believe it is more to do with attitude and skills. I have always attempted to be my own personal IT dept, not relying on any central IT function because, more often than not, in the past IS was located in a remote location and I had to fend for myself. This has brought the benefit of independence and control over the tools of my trade.

Peter’s point is that the IT literature workforce actually want this level of control and independence, and will reject the overly controlling traditional IT dept. Such depts need to adapt following perhaps the example of BP who are testing a model where there is no corporate network as such.. instead employees connect their own managed and purchased (with company money) laptops to secure corporate servers across the internet.

OK… this sounds rather far fetched ? but would you now ever think of sending a typist a hand written memo for them to type rather than type it yourself ?

In the same way the wider IT industry needs to adapt to a new generation of IT literate employees so must the GIS industry adapt to a generation of Geo-Hackers who rather than use expense and complex traditional GIS tools and gone off and developed their own open-source tools.

After-all last week at least twice as many people attended the FOSS4G (free and open source) conference than the AGI conference.

Written and submitted from the 20:12 Clapham Junction – Southampton train, South of Basingstoke, using my Vodafone 3G network card – EVENTUALLY-!!!.

3 comments

  1. Grady Meehan

    The forecast of withering IT departments raises a point of interest for GIS in business organizations. GIS is often department-focused or might have an enterprise-wide focus. If GIS is introduced through IT channel and IT is to going away, what impact will this have on GIS across organizations?
    The most desirable function of GIS is to have a cross-departmental role in order to integrate multiple departments through a sharing of information, internal and external to the company. Certainly the business Intelligence and location intelligence convergence needs to be recognized across the company, not just in one or two dapartments, for it to be effective.

  2. Simon Bartlett

    Good point, and one I champion – however, what you perceive as an IT leterate workforce in your blog is actualy on refering to the base workforce – users of the applications that a buisness relies on. Giving a workforce self healing systems, basic diagnostic tools, and sufficient IT knowledge to enable them to at least handle 1st level support has got to be cost effective – be they field or office based. However, all systems rely on huge back office systems, that requre skilled application support, as well as architectural expertise. So perhapse what we are looking at is give knowledge and freedom to the user – but with corporate IT moving to being smaller, higher skilled application and systems support teams? There are risks to opening up the desktop – but they are controllable.

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