|Research, training, consultancy and software to reduce IT costs|
Many of the problems in IT stem from a lack of professional ethos.
Most professions have a reasonably well-defined ethos. For doctors, the well-being of the patient is the core focus. For lawyers, it is representing the best interests of the client. For retailers, it is customer service.
There is no professional ethos in IT. We do not all agree on the purpose of our profession. Is it to deliver services smoothly? Is it as an agent of business change? Is it about guarding information assets? Is it about exploring and exploiting new technology?
The lack of consistent ethos means there is conflict in most IT roles. Here are some exaggerated examples:
Although other professions have conflicts, the conflicts are worse in IT because of the lack of ethos. There are always conflicts between those fascinated by the technicalities of the profession and those focussed on making money, there are problems when the ambitious overcommit the organisation, and problems with the limited perspective of people stuck in the same role for too long. But in other professions, there are commonly held views that act as a reference point and to which everyone has to at least pay lip service. In IT the problems are worse because there is no such common ethos.
IT is too young to fix this problem. Other professions have had centuries to work out their ethos. This has involved subdividing the professions into more coherent, less conflicted sub-professions, like pharmacists, surgeons, family lawyers, merchandise buyers, and so on. IT is very young and has changed hugely in its short life. An ethos will evolve, but don't expect it any time soon.Next: Letting go
Minimal IT: research, training, consultancy and software to reduce IT costs.