I cant decide in the North American business scene which gets the most disrespect: Manufacturing or IT? The reasons are for such cavalier and/or condescending attitude and pay is obvious. The Exec Suits often dont understand the swift changing economies and technologies in both areas, so they must cede power and decision making to groups they see as cost centers. This is something to be avoided, so they tend to control and even downplay top peoples pay, advancement and prestige in these two areas. Sales and marketing after all are responsible for revenues and profits. Finance and accounting makes it all happen money-wise. And the manufacturing and IT guys often promise (or get coerced into promising) more then they can deliver. So why trust or reward them?
This is the conclusion I get from reading Infoworlds David Marguilis take on the Wall Street Journals article tantamount to saying: 10 Reasons to Further Distrust your IT Staff. Now the WSJ represents the Finance point of view. This is where top salaries for the best in the Finance business are now topping $2Billion per year. Do you know any manufacturing execs or CIOs making $2B/year? So of course, the WSJ viewpoint may be a tad impatient – “if you force me to think for more than an hour on this issue you are costing me $545,256 dollars – so can you hurry this along?”.
David certainly catches this undercurrent in his coverage of the WSJ fiasco. And to think, this piece was done at the WSJ before the takeover by Mr. Irascibility, Rupert Murdoch. So much for real insights from the WSJ on the nature of computing and how profoundly it will be effecting not just all businesses but society in general. Perhaps, there is a bit of mercurialness at the WSJ on the pivotal role of technology, and the decisively leading technology, computing.
Now remember, computing technology is and will continue to profoundly effect every aspect of society: not just business, but medicine, politics, education now that it has become life-long, arts and science. Computing technology and how well its used will be at the core of individual, group, organizational, and national senses of well being. And as David has pointed out, such an elementary and continuing set of gaffes at the WSJ does not bode well for understanding and mastering the medium despite all that Walt Mossberg may try to do.
David is absolutely right. If the WSJ had explored the clash between Exec Suites dictates for more control, less surprises, and more reliability of IT versus the demands of Users for more usability, responsiveness and agility(often these are at cross purposes) with IT in the middle being told to do more with less, then something of substance could have resulted. But this requires deep understanding and analysis of the trends and actuality of computing – and hey , the quarterly WSJ ROI numbers werent there for such an effort.