Leadership

Erase the IT/Business divide mindset to achieve better results

Scott Lowe believes that we must get over the perception that IT is somehow disconnected from the organization in order to work in harmony to help the business succeed. Here are some tips on how to dissolve the IT/Business divide.

Over and over and over, I read about projects failing and organizations crumbling because of a divide between IT and the business.  Put in other terms, I often read that "IT isn't aligned with the business" or, put more bluntly, "the business has no idea what IT does/is doing."  As a result, these organizations fail to use IT to its fullest potential.  A few weeks ago, I wrote a posting here entitled Four keys to business intelligence success.  The first comment on that article read as follows:

An understanding by all involved that BI is not an "IT project" but is, instead, a "business project" is essential.

Congratulations Scott, you get it. Finally someone at TR actually understands that IT "IS" part of the business and not separate from the business. You get five Gold Stars. Thank You.

Although the "IT/business divide" complaint wasn't the focus of the article and definitely not at the top of my mind when I was writing the posting, since that comment was written, I've read a number of articles lamenting the IT/business divide and have a few thoughts about it.  I'll be honest, the whole "divide" debate sort of drives me nuts.  You never hear about "sales/business" or "marketing/business" divides.  Here we go.

Get over it

There is no such thing as an IT/business divide!  As implied by the user comment above, IT is but one cog in the giant wheel that makes the business, in its entirety, work as a cohesive whole.  In fact, I often think about IT as the glue that helps to hold various pieces of an organization together.  After all, most business processes today rely on technological underpinnings to work.  Further, departments communicate with one another using systems installed and supported by technology people.  Without modern systems in place, organizations would be left in the dust and unable to meet the high expectations of customers.  People - especially the CIO - should stop thinking about IT as an external organization peering into the "business" and instead consider IT to be at the hub of the wheel and holding the whole thing together.  Maybe this makes IT seem too self-important; I can assure you that my intent is not to overstate IT's importance to the organization, but to instead provide a possible context for getting out of the "divide" mindset.

Before you can change the mind of others regarding this issue, you have to truly believe that there is no divide and that IT is a part of the business.  If you don't, the perception issue will always remain.

Confront it

Ok, so getting over it can be easier said than done.  In some organizations, IT is still considered, at best, a necessary evil.  Management and the CIO remain at odds over how to best leverage technology for the betterment of the organization and with some executives having been in their seats for decades, change will come very slowly.  In these kinds of organizations - and I've been in them - I can see why the senior IT leader would lament the lack of understanding on the part of the executive team regarding IT's role and possibilities.

When an organization is operating like this, it's time to get creative and force the issue - respectfully, of course.  In these kinds of organizations, IT is more often than not shielded from what's going on elsewhere; after all, if IT is considered simply a cost center, there probably won't be too many eyes on it except to watch the expenditures.  So, use that to your advantage and unilaterally undertake a project that can help take the organization rise to new heights.  I'm not suggesting you subvert marching orders, but to simply take on a project that will lift your standing in the organization and provide a real live demonstration on how IT can help the overall business. Don't go it alone if you don't have to; consider partnering with another trusted executive to make this happen.  Pick something that might not be on people's radar that you feel would pique the interest of other executives or of the CEO.  It goes without saying that installing that brand new voice mail system probably won't do the trick.  However, installing that brand new voice mail system that has interactive voice response that lowers customer complaint resolution time and helps increase overall customer satisfaction just might.  The first step is getting people to listen; by teasing them with something useful, you'll get their ear.  Then, once they're hooked, make sure to continue to execute well.  Obviously, this approach can't and won't work for everyone, but for an organization on the cusp of viewing and using IT as a strategic asset. It could be just what the doctor ordered.

For me, being able to help our President get better and more current information on a regular basis has helped tremendously increase the value of IT in his mind.  Now, to be fair, he didn't exactly see IT as a waste before!  Far from it, in fact.  However, the ability for IT to bring data from disparate business units together into a single pane has been of huge benefit for both my department and for the college in general.

Move on

If you're the kind of person that is frustrated by organizational dynamics that reduce IT to an outcast group or a group significantly underutilized and you simply can't do anything about it, it's time to polish up the resume and move on.  Someone out there with an interest in being the "computer person" will be more than happy to sit in your chair while you move to an organization that better fits your style.

Summary

It may seem like I oversimplify things here.  After all, there are probably other in-between choices.  My point in all this is that this perception of IT being somehow outside the business simply can't continue if businesses expect to make heavier and heavier use of technology in operations and processes.  In many cases, the capability to overcome this perception lies right in the hands of the CIO who must take the charge to close the divide and make IT that central point in the business hub.  If you're a CIO in an organization and feel like there is a divide, so something about it.  It might take a while, but the effort is worth it.

About

Since 1994, Scott Lowe has been providing technology solutions to a variety of organizations. After spending 10 years in multiple CIO roles, Scott is now an independent consultant, blogger, author, owner of The 1610 Group, and a Senior IT Executive w...

42 comments
robin
robin

IT is not the best judge of whether it?s got a divide with the business. I agree there shouldn?t be a divide, but simply acting as if it doesn?t exist won?t change the facts if it indeed does exist. The key to closing the divide has to start with IT realizing that its systems don?t provide value unless they meet the REAL business requirements, which are more than just high-level objectives. Rather they are deliverable whats that provide value when satisfied; and they must be discovered and driven down to detail before mapping them to products and systems which will satisfy them.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

Denial by the business that they are actively maintaining the divide is a much more common problem that IT acquiescing to it. Not one word in that article that there isn't a divide, several about how if you want to close it up, both edges have to move. The fact that closing up the divide hasn't happened over the last 15 to 20 years, despite everbody telling IT they have to close it, suggests to me, the other side of the gap keeps moving away.....

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

That tool provides a [nominally] easier way to perform essential business functions. The spreadsheet replaced the adding machine and ledger book. The word processor replaced the typewriter. The DBMS replaced the file cabinets full of customer data. The web page replaced the paper catalog. Other applications replaced more esoteric functions. I think much of the "divide" between IT and business is more due to differences in personalities than anything else.

jascc1
jascc1

If you see IT solely as a business tool in this day and age, then you are only looking at the future of your organization (and this world) a day at a time without any strategic forethought. IT DOES need to align to the business and not the other way around - this is true. But to isolate IT as solely 'tool' is nowhere near a starting point - it's simply ignorance of the true value of your IT unit. I implore you to be more objective and think about why businesses are even in business. The smart competition knows that technology actually keeps them in business since it's about serving your custome's base. Try telling your customer's that you don't need technology to keep afloat (e.g. don't accept credit card or do don't engage in e-commerce transactons). See how long you'll be running that busines of yours. You might do well in the Amish community though.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

For the delivery driver, a truck is a tool that makes it possible for him to conduct business efficiently. For a business, the network is a similar tool. Maybe since "tool" has only a single syllable, it's a bad word. Would "business infrastructure" be more acceptable?

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

is having something people are prepared to pay for. To build on that foundation, you need a market and a profit. IT could help you with that. If it isn't doing that it's a waste of money, it has no value (aside from 'scrap') in and of itself. How much we can help a business, depends on how well we can and are allowed to understand it. I personally no longer believe that we can't (though people like yourself do keep providing examples), I truly believe that we are not being allowed to by a Business's assumption that they don't need to understand some IT basics.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

IMO, the narrow scope is in your vision of tool. I'll concede IT should be considered more a tool chest than a single tool.

jascc1
jascc1

...really narrowing the scope and impact of an effective IT organization. I cannot buy into your delivery driver analogy for a slew of reasons. 'Business Infrastructure' atleast somewhat implicitly acknowledges how a proper IT investment (sw/hw tools, resources, human capital, Portfolio Management, strategic alignment, enterprise communications.....just to name a few) sets the stage for the FOUNDATION of one's business.

reisen55
reisen55

With a mindset like that you limit your vision to the IBM Selectric which did the same thing as you write about. IT is an integrated part of the business and the corporation can only funciton as well as the IT infrastructure does. Limited view.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

integral to modern businesses, integrated? well that's where the argument is. More like tightly coupled in my opinion.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

IT is a tool that enables business to operate more efficiently. Businesses can function perfectly well without IT, just not at the speeds or transaction volumes to which we have become accustomed. Those office applications you belittle as "limited" provide the vast majority of business IT needs. The stated examples in my OP were intended as a starting point. That you see them as limitations says much.

reisen55
reisen55

Hmmmmmmmmm - American management believes that IT is a commodity product, that anyone can do it and why pay AMERICAN workers (who have this little old nasty thing called cost of living) with INDIAN PHONE REPRESENTATIVES (1/4 salary and no health care benefits) TO DO THE SAME JOB???? Well, all those IT guys do is keep everything running smoothly! Get rid of outsourcing, PERIOD and get rid of the mindset as written. IT is an integral part of the organization and if it fails, as it is doing at Aon Group, then widespread problems ensue. Rapidly. Disasterously.

ogunda
ogunda

Excellent point Scott... I will firmly put the responsibility at the feet of the CIO and the rest of the leadership bodies in the organization. Any organization that refuses to confront this issue will continue to undercut itself and waste valuable resources. Like any other client we all want transparency and when business start to harbor those feelings, justifiably or not, it is the responsibility of IT to show leadership, even though the responsibility lies between both IT and business. Business cannot, and must not continue to see IT as just a cost center or shared services, but rather an enabler, if both organizations want to bridge the chasm. IT needs to make a fundamental shift from just being a support organizations as well and start to see itself as an enabler. There is a solution to this madness; I just firmly believe strong leadership is needed from both entities. To that extent, the C-Level folks need to get a grip and "Confront it" or everybody fails and the company continues to lose quality personnel

turtle975
turtle975

I like the article. However, I do know of many sales/business divide (and marketing/business divide) stories. So alignment is not just an IT issue. You have to understand what you are there to do. What is the business of your organization and how to you and your department fit in to achieve it?

chris
chris

Scott, I wish more IT people would see it your way. The Chief Information Officer at the company I work for is nothing more than a... just imaging a series of not-so-nice words. My experience has been that IT people fail to realize they are there to support the company, not the other way around. While I appreciate what they have to go through in order to maintain a reliable IT infrastructure, I don't appreciate the lack of support. Here is one example. My department, a highly technological group, had a network separate from the corporate in place for more than fifteeen years. There was a very good reason for this. They didn't want our equipment on their network and that was perfectly fine. Our local IT Manager is a great guy who gave us access to his resources (unused fiber strands, etc.). We utilized them and had many great systems in place that helped us reduce equipment downtime in many ways that I won't get into. We were purchased a few years ago and Corporate started upgrading their IT infrastructure in several of the facilities, including our own. Everyone knew about our network but left it untouched. They didn't view it as a threat. It is my understanding that this fact was also reported to the new CIO. Fast forward about three years... The CIO suddenly "find out" that we have our own network with various resources including a secure wireless network. He blows his top and has their data contractor come in to document everything we have so that it can be migrated to their system. The data contractor quoted a figure of around $175,000 to replace our $5,000 network. The company doesn't have that kind of money to spend at the moment, but we were told to immediately dismantle our network and ship all of the components to the data center as proof of it having been pulled. We fully understand why they don't want the wireless network on the corporate network. There are no disputes there. Part of the corporate network is a P.O.S. system. We don't care how we get our data as long as we get our data. We are now left without the resources we had, waiting and waiting and waiting for more than just our workstations to get connected. We had to wait five months for a new toner cartridge for our printer! We ordered our own in the past but we're no longer allowed to. We have to wait and wait and wait some more for anything we request from IT. I don't blame our local IT department. They're great people who are extremely talented. (Don't tell our CIO that, though. He was quoted in a magazine article as saying that there is no talent at the facility level.) They've been suffering from the same symptoms all of us have been suffering... budget-cuts, staffing-cuts, 1000% workload increase, etc. You're absolutely correct when you say that CIOs need to pay more attention and gain a better understanding of the business operation and apply that knowledge to helping in the overall mission. It's frustrating to see IT groups that seem to think THEY are the company. They need to realize it's a team effort and work better with everyone (and vice-versa).

gahmusic
gahmusic

Hi Chris I myself am a CIO and can sypathise with you however the problem is that most non IT workers like yourself do not understand the responsibilities, rules, regulations and so on that we have to ensure are maintained to keep the company working and compliant. reading your post if you are a UK based user I can see how you are in fact contraviening several regulations including PCI-DSS the credit card regulations. This in turn can lead to your company having it's abilty to take credit cards removed and thus all jobs lost. So it's no]ot just being ackward. however I do acept that perhaps it was a comunications breakdown and the fact that you had become used to an incompetant IT department with no regard for the companies safety, security and integrity. Thanks Gary

ITSM-Exec
ITSM-Exec

Sadly, you're right. There will be CIOs who do not understand how to leverage the proper technologies to ensure the business gets what it needs when it needs it. This doesn't mean that IT should "align" with the business (thank goodness). It does mean that they need to become instrumental in being a part of the business. In the end, being intelligent about how technology is or should be used by the business is critically important. So... the CIO needs to really "get this" more so, perhaps, than anyone.

ITSM-Exec
ITSM-Exec

It would seem to me that this should be obvious and yet I work in a community where it certainly has not sunk in for everyone yet. Would Marketing sit in a room and ask how they can "align" with the business? Would Accounting do this? Would Sales do this? The real answer is "No". Those elements of the organization understand that they ARE the business. So are we in the Technology departments. We need to see ourselves as BEING the business, alongside our partners in Sales, Marketing, Accounting, Engineering, Manufacturing, etc. Without them, we don't have jobs. Without us, they can't get their jobs done. Why we have not simply moved into that mentality escapes me. Perhaps it is partly because there may still be some folks that are in this career path (sort of the stereotypical technologists) who don't always like interacting with actual people, who really prefer to just "geek out", who may sometimes work to gain access to the most current "cool" technologies, whether or not those technologies are actually good for business. Maybe it's some of those things... It's up to the real leaders in the IT part of the business to help those folks realize why they're on the job, who they're there to help/support, what the mission of the BUSINESS is, etc. So... get the leaders on the right track about how IT really is IN the business just like the other folks and the others in the organization will come along. Some sooner than others. :)

selthomas8520
selthomas8520

The problem is a deep seated one, and is usually why consultants are engaged to try and bring clarity or kick start some co-operation. However far too often MAnagement Consultants produce "Strategies" that sit and gather dust on the shelf. Most organisations will have a grand "Enterprise Architecture DEsign Strategy" floating around and then there are the Business Plans usually shown as 3 or 5 year plans, but rarely are next years decisions based on the insight brought by progress against the plan, so why have the plan? First should come the business objectives, what is it the organisation is there to do - usually make money! But you only make money if you are producing somethng, a service or product, that a customer will buy. So the business direction is the forst step, then, as very few companies currently have no IT, you need to understand what are your current business processes, are they efficient, effective and delivering the business outcome. Then you need to ask if IT is enabling or constraining your business. At that point you can plan a business and IT strategy that provides a step approach to improving both the business and the ability of IT to enable business, putting in place appropriate governance, performance measures and fully understanding not just the success criteria (what does good look like) but also what are teh criteria and flags of potential failure. Be honest understand what failure would look like and how it manifests itself and put in place the monitors to watch for those signals. It is never one thing that heralds disaster but always a combination of things, and you must be as watchful of those as of the monitors of success

psbkp
psbkp

I am the AVP of Information Technology for a community bank. Nine years ago, the bank brought our core processing in house. They transferred me from another department to be "the computer girl". My supervisor and I both come from the business-side of things (he banking, me insurance). Our Department has gone from 1 computer girl to me and four technicians (we have even gotten rid of our outsourced IT company to do EVERYTHING in house). We work AS A TEAM with senior management, department heads and the like. We do everything from fix computers to train end users on managment systems. And you know what? It has been wildy successful for us! IMHO - interdepartmental synergies are a must!

chris
chris

I wish you were my company's CIO, psbkp. It sucks having a power-hungry micromanaging ass-clown! :)

PMPsicle
PMPsicle

Welcome to the world of big business (and many small businesses). Unfortunately, it's easier to believe that (my department, my team, me) is the only one in the business that matters. Thinking globally takes effort. It's one of those problems that never goes away, even in organizations that have figured it out already. Ask your boss and his boss if they work at teambuilding and involving everyone. You'll almost certainly get a definitely yes answer. It's always easier in small business because it's harder to hide. Glen Ford, PMP http://www.trainingnow.ca

jaco.lemmer
jaco.lemmer

This debate has been around for an incredibly long time. I first joined discussions and lamentations on the IT-Business divide as far back as 1998, and still it seems to be a central topic amongst IT people. There are some valid points to lament (from an IT point of view), but we as IT people know them all and I will not state the known here. What I do want to add to the discussion is what we can do about it. Let's face it, "Business" will not solve the issue for us, they will happlily let it be. We IT people need a change of mind and heart. Being an IT guy and having managed IT staff for over a decade, I suspect that I understand them a bit. We became IT people (most of us) not to be business people, but to do what we like, working with technology. After all, a computer does not play corporate political games, does it! But, if we wish for business to adotp us as the hub, the linch-pin, we need to make two paradigm shifts: 1. We need to understand that IT owes its existence to BUSINESS. 2. We are here to serve, not to be served. Once we make this mental shift, things will start hapening for us. If all, and I mean ALL, IT staff understand the above two principles, it will automatically result in IT people being the very first to be invited to a meeting. As far back as 2001, I took my entire department on SALES training. And we were the internal IT department of a medium sized Insurance company. We were not providers of outsourced solutions. The mindshift in my staff was phenominal. They suddenly understood that we were all sales people, of internal services, and that every time you arrive at a user's desk, you were selling the image users have of the IT department. We need to stop complaining and start taking control over our own destiny. If we pro-actively offer solutions which our users do not know they need yet, just because we know what the solutions are, we will be regarded as the ENABLERS of business. BUT, we need to understand the needs of Business before we can offer applicable and suitable solutions. For this to happen, we need to think like business people and act like business people. We need to make the effort to understand their disciplines and challenges in order to offer help that is wanted. We need to serve because we owe it to business! Jacs Lemmer Pretoria South Africa.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

What a shockingly novel idea. Techie Why do you want me to do this? Businessman None of your business techie, get your arse in gear or I'll outsource you. Two weeks later Techie I thought you wanted me to do that. Businessman. I wish you people would pay attention, if you aligned yourself you'd know why I don't need it now. I'm outsoucing you. If Business WON'T solve it IT CAN'T because they WON'T let us, because we are THEM not us. Try and be part of the solution. It takes two to communicate, but only one to ostracise....

PMPsicle
PMPsicle

This goes back as far as I remember (which is well over 20 years before 1999). IT has always felt the outsider. And other business departments have always treated IT as an outsider. And until it clicks that systems & information are the nervous system of the business it will always be this way. And even when it does ... accountants complain about the same thing. Glen Ford, PMP http://www.trainingnow.ca

SilverBullet
SilverBullet

sale in the mining and heavy construction industry. Their culture alone will eat you alive and may find yourself part of a mix design in the next dam project. Engineers and estimators don't eat lunch with accountants and I.T. folks. EVER!

PMPsicle
PMPsicle

And it took me 10 years to slow down my swearing. I still tend to have a more foul mouth than is strictly appreciated! I also worked for CSA. Agreed, a different type of engineer but ... And yes, I did eat lunch with accountants and with engineers. I also had coffee with them (and sometimes bought the donuts). Engineers and estimators are no problem ... plumbers and hvac techs and electricians make engineers look like managers! The trick is to have an open mind, some common ground (sports???) and empathy when they complain. They're people like any other. Oh, and don't discount the coffee and donuts. Glen Ford, PMP http://www.trainingnow.ca http://apps.learningcreators.com/blog

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

you could never have come out with this half baked drivel. :( Think you might be preaching to the choir with this one mate. A welcome change though, I'm pig sick of the IT must align themselves garbage.

SilverBullet
SilverBullet

The industry and operational culture is the personality of any business. These two factors must recongnize this as equal. What an opportunity to mentor a group of loss souls and mold this business and it's obstacles into what you understand. That would require I.T. to blend into various department meetings and daily routines to compile information first hand rather than secound or third. I.T. must feel the pain of other departments and use it's dynamic personality to releave pain. Friendly persuasion! People like to feel part of a solution that effects their daily routine whether they are or not.

Scott Lowe
Scott Lowe

I think there is massive opportunity - for those that want to do it and that think there is value. For those that are caught in this supposed divide and don't see the opportunity, I'd question why they're still there.

jkameleon
jkameleon

Simply put, business is about getting people to do something. Technology is about getting machinery, things to do something. They require entirely different education, mindset, and mentality in order to achieve results. Conseqently, IT/Business divide is very deep, and not easy to overcome. The ony way of getting rid of IT/Business divide is to get the technology out of IT.

CG IT
CG IT

see IT as what typewriters, copy machines, filing cabinets, the secretary pool, and the myrid of other products the company used in the administrative effort to run the company back 25 plus years ago. IT has been and will always be part of the operating overhead. I think that marketing and spin by the hardware and software mfgs would like to have IT this all important department, but the bottom line is word processing, spreadsheet software programs just replaced pencil and paper, file storage servers just replaced filing cabinets, web sites are a method of advertising that otherwise would be in newspapers, TV, and magazines. Marketing and Sales spin benefits of IT to the point of over importance. Those that tout this business alignment are really just trying to create this whole all important IT business inside the business. Though important, IT isn't the all important business unit.

jkameleon
jkameleon

... when contemplating relationship between business and IT Database http://www.officemuseum.com/IMagesWWW/Filing_Section_c._1920_Metro_Life_Ins_Co_MetLife_Archives.jpg http://www.officemuseum.com/IMagesWWW/Revising_Filing_System_j85.jpg Computing Division http://www.officemuseum.com/IMagesWWW/Early_1920s_Veterans_Bureau_Calculating_WWI_Vet_Bonuses_LOC.JPG Information network lines http://www.dself.dsl.pipex.com/MUSEUM/COMMS/pneumess/pipes1a.jpg Information network router http://kihm5.files.wordpress.com/2008/08/pneumatic-2.jpg Computers had sent such jobs http://www.officemuseum.com/IMagesWWW/cb000185_c._1940_Accounting_Work_Room_First_Nat_Bank_of_Chicago_OM.JPG to oblivion long time ago, long before any of us was even born. Most of us can't even imagine what business looked like before computer era, and that's the reason I'm posting links to the officemuseum.com . IT staff found itself roughly in the position of managers of the people, depicted in the above pictures. Yet, we are not managing people, we are managing machines, and that's a whole different ballgame.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

Salute the logo types. I can never figure whether they are ittitating Because they are dumb enough to believe that crap. Think I'm dumb enough to believe it. Or without exception in my experience really crap at their jobs.

jkameleon
jkameleon

... those who... well... make comments on other people's attitudes. Like "What a horrible attitude! If you were one of my employees, I'd sack you immediately!"

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

I was born to do so, sometimes I'm allowed to. It's what I enjoy, and that's why I do it. Bonus ball sometimes I even get paid for it. Please don't address me as though I was a salute the logo numpty again, It's irritating. Loyalty, yeah right, they don't give it, they don't get it.

jkameleon
jkameleon

... only if you specifically asked and paid to do so. That means, almost never. Business is not yours, profits are not yours, and value you add is not yours. So don't add value to business unless you have to. If you are thinking about making a comment about my attitude: Don't. My attitude is normal and appropriate. Not good, nor bad, just appropriate. I'm a loyal member of the workforce global capital created by its own image, no more and no less.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

One of my tasks, was to manually record the amount of production and despatching each shift in a manufacturing plant. Didn't even have a photcopier, we used carbon paper... Some of this data came from other businesses computer systems. I got my start in IT from being a super user helping implementing our own. Adding value was 'easy', or more correctky finding ways to add value was. The people in business IT were as a group much more innovative and creative than they are now. All of IT, even in programming now , is maintaining value, it's rare we get to create and innovate, businesses don't even look for those as character traits any more. Yes me making a few changing for version three, or fred configuring a switch, or Bill backing up a database has value. My knowledge of the code and domain, Fred's of the kit and the infrastructure, Bills knowledge of the tech and schema also have value, we need to use them more. It's not generally that we don't want to, but that we are not allowed to, diminishing returns is where we are at. If business want more out of their IT, they've got to stop the lets change the colour and add sound effects crap, and look at ways of automating the grunt work so we can look at adding new value. And they won't let us, because that effort has no immediate short term business value. The IT business divide is simple , if we did have the time to do something with less effort, they'd say thank you very much, let one us go, reduce our hours, or wrap it up and give it to our colleagues in the indian subcontinent.... Not exactly an incentive is it? Our problem is not that we don't understand business, it's that we understand it all too well.....

CG IT
CG IT

wonderful pictures. However, I'm old enough to remember businesses without computers. We used calculators and pencil and paper when preparing bids. I remember Rockewell International renting out half the hotel for bid and proposal people during the B1 competition. The propsal was printed out and spanned 164 volumes [included the cost section]. Each volume consisted of 400 to 500 pages. That doesn't include the classified sections. In the 80s at Northop, we had the first desktops the 8088s and the whopper 286s with 40Mb hdds. Some equipment had 40 MB hdds with 3 redudant 40 MB hdds. Engineers were all saying they couldn't see ever using up 40 MB let alone the redudant drives. [yep 40 megabytes].

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