This can’t be happening, man
I am afraid. Very afraid. One of the big consultancy firms, Forrester Research, has unleashed its prediction of the future of IT and, like all great works of sci-fi, it is coloured with fear, repression and pain. Believe me, once you’ve read this little pocket of sunshine, you’ll quit IT and go and talk to trees. For the rest of your life.
Okay, hyperbole aside, let’s see exactly what is being predicted. It starts innocently enough, with Forrester predicting that IT providers will need to change the way they operate in the next five years to “accommodate a major shift in the delivery of IT services. At this juncture, I feel quite relaxed and positive, even affording an internal nod of approval. It makes sense that hardware and software providers can no longer get away with simply selling stuff, they have an obligation to ensure that once it is on-site, that it does offer the benefits that were advertised.
But oh no, this is where Forester goes into some kind of mental meltdown, and instead of suggesting a variation on the above musing, continues by stating that the stuff they are selling will be assembled and managed by outside providers. Okay, I’m thinking, this story has taken a turn for the worse, but it’s nothing new to be disappointed and let down by a press release. And then, with no warning really, all vestiges of reality are exploded leaving us exposed to Forrester’s true intentions. There’s no way of paraphrasing horror of this magnitude, so I’m going to resort to re-printing. Forrester prefaces what follows as being the design for a new IT ecosystem, which will comprise four groups providing IT services. These groups are:
- Operations consortia members: Future members, such as Dell, EDS, IBM, HP, and Accenture, will deliver a utility-like service to the enterprise.
- Component communities: Composed of companies like SAP, Microsoft, Google, and salesforce.com, this group will create and source IP.
- Process transformers: Companies such as Accenture, Microsoft, IBM, Capgemini, and Oracle will create the bundles that embed emerging technologies and concepts into a managed offering.
- Solutions brokers: These will often assemble the IP of platforms, apps, and devices into bundles sold directly to the marketplace or to other process transformers. Examples include Accenture, salesforce.com, Keane, Oracle, and Infosys.
I don’t understand
Excuse me, but what? If you understood a word of that, please e-mail me and explain, because that might as well have been written in Elfish as far as I’m concerned. Shouldn’t the future of IT, given all the recent talk about aligning business and IT aims, and avoiding costly and pointless projects, be to simplify things? Shouldn’t we all be striving to make our industry more accommodating and inviting, to ensure that those without a background in IT can contribute and work with us for mutual gain?
Forrester obviously thinks what it is saying means something, as it features a quote from its vice president Andrew Parker, whereas normally press releases are the preserve of no more glamorous a job title than ‘research analyst. Parker says, probably without irony, that: “convergence will accelerate this market shift and make it stick. Convergence, in my mind at least, is about linking things to ensure that we don’t have lots of separate bodies and systems overlapping doing the same things. Convergence should be about making things simpler, not this complicated web of third and fourth part involvements as put forward by Forrester.
Of course, there will always be people in IT who hide their lack of talent and imagination by trying to bamboozle their peers and superiors with jargon. So if you do have talent and imagination, make sure you don’t fall into the trap.