What follows is one of my post that was recently published on AIIM’s site as an “Expert Blogger”. (The original can be read here)
Why I Hate IT…
I hate IT, I hate IT, I hate IT. In fact, I cringe every time I hear IT.
What am I talking about? I’m talking about the acronym “I.T.” IT stands for Information Technology. But I guess you already knew that.
And why do I hate it? I never used to, but as the years have passed, I’ve started having an aversion to the term.
I used to be one, you know. An IT’er. And was proud of the fact. I used to imagine the office girls swooning as I walked past with my box of disks, and, maybe a large manual on the intricacies of printers (or similar). That was in the early days.
Then I got a job where they wanted to call me an “Application Specialist”. An “Application Specialist”! Can you imagine?! That was a title for someone who wasn’t really an IT’er. They might as well have asked me to dress in frilly pink.
But – OK – it was a job, and, most of the time, I was…begrudgingly…an ”Application Specialist”, but whenever I got a chance – I was “IT Guy”! I was in charge of the network! With a mere wave of my hand I could enable (or disable) functionality. I was the one who could implement new bizarre network policies (for the good of mankind, naturally), and it was I who held the power to apply patches, and fixes, whenever I deemed it necessary. (Bwahahaa)
Fast forward a couple of years, and I have a new position. I’m now actually working “with” the business users. I have to “listen”, and then provide a suitable solution. If something needs changing I need to seek their permission, to “justify” it. I can’t just go making changes because I “think” that the changes are “cool”, or will “help” the users. They are the “actual” owners of the system. I am just a custodian.
I didn’t give this any thought, but then, one day, after I had been working with a different department, doing requirements gathering, and helping “them” solve their issues, I overheard someone say “Mark is our favourite IT person”. And I cringed.
You see – I no longer consider myself involved with the “Technology”. I now saw myself as a generalist that “understood” technology, but also understood the business users, as well as the business processes, and was able to “use” technology in a way that was relevant.
And, while I was working through the preparatory material for the CIP examination, it dawned on me – there was nothing on the “technology”. There was only material on how to use the technology.
So, after a long-winded explanation, I hope you understand, now, why I hate IT.