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Nick Carr's 2003 Rules for IT Management: An Open Nerve?

10 years on, and it still matters?

If an article, 10 years after its initial publication date, is featured in several look backs, reviews, Q&As and still gathers reactions and emotional analysis, it can be concluded it must have struck a chord - or in this case - more an open nerve.

In May 2003*, the Harvard Business Review published "IT Doesn't Matter" , an article by then still largely unknown editor "at large" Nicholas Carr.

The premise of the article was that infrastructure has a diminishing impact on competitiveness and that IT was infrastructure (although Carr in the recent Q&A seems to indicate he meant IT Infrastructure is Infrastructure, a lot less controversial idea). Given all the recent analysis around, I only want to zoom in on one aspect.



What still amazes me after all these years is how the last decade of IT was impacted/hindered/predicted/paralleled (pick one based on your personal emotional state with regard to the article) by the three short recommendations that were included - almost as an afterthought - in a small breakout box on page 8 of the article.

The article gave the following three "New rules for IT management"
  • Spend Less : Which arguably coincided with a decade of corporate IT anorexia?
  • Follow, don't lead : Today we know that consumer-play IT - and not corporate IT - leads most of IT innovation (think Facebook, Twitter, Google, Netflix), and Web-scale IT is arguably about corporates following consumer-plays?
  • Focus on vulnerabilities (as for any utility the dependence on external providers increases) - Which ironically is today's main argument for corporate's preference for private (over public) clouds?
Is the relationship between the last 10 years of IT and the article a question of coincidence, a perfect crystal ball, extreme influence or simply good penmanship? Let me know what you think (in the comments or via @gregorpetri)

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Gregor Petri

Gregor Petri is a regular expert or keynote speaker at industry events throughout Europe and wrote the cloud primer “Shedding Light on Cloud Computing”. He was also a columnist at ITSM Portal, contributing author to the Dutch “Over Cloud Computing” book, member of the Computable expert panel and his LeanITmanager blog is syndicated across many sites worldwide. Gregor was named by Cloud Computing Journal as one of The Top 100 Bloggers on Cloud Computing.

Follow him on Twitter @GregorPetri or read his blog at blog.gregorpetri.com

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