Where Does IT Hurt
Boy, does IT hurt.
IT hurts an organization in so many different ways. It is ironic because IT often ends up obscuring information that would be plainly visible to the naked eye.
IT has the amazing ability to make the visible invisible. We develop IT dashboards that display information that someone seems important in colorful ways.
In knowledge work everything is invisible. You can’t see what I am thinking until I express it in some format, but even then you won’t necessarily see it.
I may send you an email. You may get a notification from the system. It may pop up on your screen to distract you at the exact moment that you are trying to concentrate. The system may send you an email that you:
Respond with a few quick comments that someone ignores the main question
Or respond with more questions that complicate the manner further
In an IT centric view of the world, this is what we call me communication. This better than the world with limited access to each other. We would have to wait for an inperson meeting, make a phone call or write a memo and then wait for a response.
The built in delay was a feature that lead to more thoughtful questions and answers. The quality of the communication had to be better because the availability of it was limited.
In a world with unlimited availability of communication, the value of each communication has gone to near zero.
Most of our days are spent in communication modes where the value of each communication is near zero.
This is just one of the ways that IT does hurt. By lowering the cost of communication, it lowers the cost of communication.