Wednesday, 17 March 2010

A little bit of self-congratulation

I was watching the movie The Hudsucker Proxy last weekend and found it a fascinating recreation of how business operated in the nineteen fifties; i.e. before the information technology revolution. Messages were sent using rolled up paper inserted into vacuum tubes, or on the memo trolley. There were huge typist pools whose job it was to create letters. The stock price was relayed to a few senior individuals via a ticker tape machine in the boardroom.

It made me think of all those people who suggest that IT is an expensive cost centre and seek to denigrate its achievements. In that I include the many knockers of the government's NHS Connecting For Health project. Yes information technology is costly, is often not delivered on time, and doesn't always meet requirements, but it changes things for the better in a huge way. In 20 years time perhaps paper patient records will seem as quaint as the vacuum memo system in the movie.

So to all those in IT who are feeling pressured by the business or who are made to feel their achievements are lacking somehow - chin up! You've transformed business over the last half-century and I'm pretty sure you'll continue to do so in the next. Yes I know there are many issues to be resolved - one of the great things about this industry is that we're always pushing on - but just stop for a moment to think about what we've done so far.

A little bit of self-congratulation, and self-assertiveness now and then is no bad thing.

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