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Jul 03

Does IT Matter Anymore?

A controversial article by the Harvard Business Review makes a case for how the IT industry, as it fits within businesses, has attained maturity already and has started its decline. That is, it’s at the stage where it no longer is an advantage in firms where it’s implemented, but a disadvantage in firms where it’s not implemented – no longer a key business driver, just a must-have part of the business. In my opinion, the article does raise valid points, but I would disagree that IT has reached a stage where it is “dwindling”. I do think that advances in information technology are likely to be restricted to being evolutionary, rather than revolutionary (as some new ideas were during the tech boom). Evolutionary advances do not mean a market will start to decline. IT is also a far broader concept than the idea of electricity or the steam engine – it is not a single phenomenon or entity, it encompasses virtually any technology that deals with the transfer of information and data. And when you look at all the technological advances that have occurred at the household level over the last few years, how many of them have been IT-based, as opposed to grounded in other fields of science? How many advances will continue to be IT-based as objects continue to be increasingly automated, interconnected and interoperable?

All in all, IT may have ceased in being revolutionary. But the same is true for all other value-add and corporate support services too: legal, financial consulting, strategic consulting… all those industries ceased being revolutionary soon after their inception, but they’re still employed. These things are all necessary parts of businesses, and IT has become that too. As long as you need someone to manage IT infrastructure, the industry will always have opportunities.