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IT needs to go beyond its organisation...

By Soapsoane ·
I really found your blog post about what IT needs very, very interesting.

I work in marketing and, like most people probably have a couple of experiences that highlight the gap between the organisation's communication and the client and end user. One is a tiny, highly successful software developer who have grown enormously through their innovative software but use the most clunky spamming methods backed up by very expensive mailshots.

The second is an example where a small start up company with a great software offer was given a fantastic opportunity to provide software for a citywide software community project. There was nothing wrong with the content management system (fantastic!), probably things wrong with the way the management of the community ISP was handled (though nothing wrong on paper, the blueprint and the mision statement and short, medium and long term strategy still looks right, four years on) but the issue was that this project was never given the financial, resource nor training capacity that the ?300,000 of government funding implied would happen. 100 community websites hang like forlorn flyers in cyberspace and this unsuccessful 'project' was used as a beacon of 'getting down with the people', two years later when I was given a short project to 'sell' a later version of the cms to these community projects, set up community websites and training for them.

However, although I 'sold' thirty of these updated sites, assisted in the design and set up training and thought the work would be ongoing, the project was abandoned. I realised later that the updating of the websites was part of the original ?300,000 outlay that the quango I worked for had paid and that the only reason I'd been given the project was because in order for the quango to receive further funding to be able to develop the next phase of their rinky dinky 'IT for the people' project, they had to show that the previous project was still alive and ongoing.

The six months I'd spent getting to know the community groups, their clients, the heart of the city if you like, preaching the message of IT for everyone (including the dispossessed), meant nothing at all. The point of what I did was just to enable the Quango to be able to sepnd ?50,000 on a very good looking website with a completely new supplier that preached:

'IT for all':this is what yourfriendly, local quango is doing'. Yet the cms that should have been properly trialled, used, developed could have and should have been used for this new website.

This is the crux of the area that is so frustrating for developers clients and end users, the way the natural, organic beauty and power of software and IT is turned into non accountable and illegible silo commodity communities.

People who work in IT are people(!) They have feelings and know that these processes need people to make them possible or credible, yet in many organisations we seem to have this really authoritarian, old fashioned view of people, potential and creativity that gives IT a very bad name, frustrates the talent who just jump ship and go elsewhere.

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