Thursday, April 26, 2007

Do IT managers lack vision, or are some industry analysts out of touch?

There is an interesting discussion going on over here sparked originally by a Gartner analyst who reportedly implied that IT managers in the USA lack vision.

While it would not be appropriate for me to comment on this particular incident, the views expressed have mobilised me to get back onto one of my favourite hobby horses – that of industry analysts getting too big for their boots.

We in the analyst profession are in a very privileged position. We get to listen to lots of stories from lots of people in the average working week, and then have time to sit and think about what it all means. We are not in the thick of running an IT department and trying to both deliver a service to the business and keep things moving forward in a positive way against the backdrop of politics, budget constraints and inherited systems that various predecessors have left us as legacy.

Sure, there are some less talented IT managers out there, just as there are some less talented industry analysts. But however good or bad the analyst, they do not have the right to behave as if they are somehow superior to those doing the job of IT delivery for real. Our role is to educate and advise in a practical and useful manner based on the information we have gathered and the analysis we have conducted. It is not to judge and preach from on high.

The trouble is that some analyst firms focus far too much on visions and aspirational ideals in order to drive the next wave of research subscription lines, and forget to build bridges between all of this blue sky theoretical stuff and the real world of IT and business that the rest of us live in.

So perhaps it’s not IT managers that need to get more vision, but some in the analyst community that need to get more real.

And on the subject of bridging the gap between vision and reality, four of us felt so strongly about the need to help people with this that we had to write a book about it :-)

1 comment:

Thomas said...

Dale,
this could equally apply to us vendor types. good stuff.