Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Who ya gonna blame?

Yesterday I wrote No Pain, No Gain to talk about the fact that its HARD to have good systems.  That's because systems are the combination of people, procedures and technologies, and no matter what the software platform, or whether on-premises or Cloud, it just takes a lot of hard work for both IT people and Business people to have good systems.  That's fundamentally the reason some businesses have good systems and some don't.

One thing I intended to mention in the article, but forgot, is to make the point that when something is hard and takes a lot of work to do well, some people (me included at times) will look to find someone (or some thing) to blame, rather than just buckling down and working hard to get a good outcome.

With that said, I think IT people, as a group, have been "thrown under the bus" a lot in the last few years.  I think it has come first as a result of some Business people being unable to accept the fact that good systems require hard work, and that means for them too, not just IT.  So, it is easiest to just blame IT.

To be clear, I am not trying to say that all IT people are blameless for problems their users experience. Nor am I saying that all Business people blame IT exclusively for their difficulties with their systems.

I am just saying that for some people at some times (again, including me) we tend to blame someone else for our hardships before considering how incredibly difficult the other person's job might really be.

Furthermore, I think many Cloud vendors, Cloud media types, and Cloud promoters have tapped into this situation and "piled on".  A popular marketing message for almost any vendor who is trying to promote a cloud-based product\service is that their solution "solves the problem of the failures of Corporate IT".  Microsoft has certainly played this game with SharePoint and Office 365.

That marketing message works pretty good right now because businesses haven't been using the Cloud long enough to realize that having good systems is still going to be hard and require a lot of hard work, even in the Cloud.

When the realization sets in that the Cloud doesn't change the fact that good systems require good people, good procedures and good technologies (ie. hard work), "who ya gonna blame?"  It can't be Corporate IT people this time around.

[Full disclosure: my company currently manufactures on-premises enterprise business software.  Soon, we will also offer some of our software as Cloud services as well.  When we do that, we are committed to try to be realistic and truthful in our marketing and not claim that our Cloud service is a solution for whatever people might be blaming on IT.]

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