The nett result of new technology

Any new technology solves one set of problems and introduces another; it simplifies one area and complicates another; it reduces some costs but increases others; it brings new risks. The question is whether there is a nett gain in value. It's called a business case and we so often forget it in our haste to embrace the shiny and new.

We must account for

  • the impact on users and business processes
  • the impact on operations and support
  • the impact on other functions such as supplier management or security
  • the ongoing costs of maintenance and data management
  • depreciation, the cost of refreshes, and the useful lifetime
  • business risk

and so on. The Total Cost of Ownership.

This is true of everything in our IT world.
snake oilThe latest technology fads, such as:

  • BYOD (device)
  • BYOS (what? Its "service")
  • BYOW ("Wearables"! keep up will you)
  • DevOps/CD automation ("CD"? Continuous Delivery. Get with it!)
  • SaaS (see this post I did for CA)
  • Cloud

The fads of the past, e.g.:

  • The internet
  • CASE
  • Directory
  • Repository
  • Relational database

And of course the introduction of computers themselves.

Most of them made life better but not by as much as we were led to believe, and the rest are dead and gone. The ones that stayed added new layers of complexity, especially for management and operational practices; incurred new costs; created new risks... generally were not the magic transformation we were promised and delivered considerably less nett benefit than first appeared to be the case.

Let's wise up.

see also
Transformational technologies are a small view. New technologies such as cloud, social media, or mobile personal computing, are seen as much more transformational by some of us in IT than they really are.
Keep the vendors and tech geeks away from business automation. Vendors sell technology (hardware and software) as silver bullets for business problems.
Technology does not fix process problems, but that's still what people want to see. A lovely example of the "Someone screwed up. What are you going to buy to fix it?" mentality that plagues this industry
Technology does not fix process (from 2006!). People are drawn to IT by a fascination with complex technology. This is most unfortunate because this fascination blinds so many of us to the importance of the People/Process/Product trilogy.

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