I just finished reading Susan Cramm‘s new book about IT called “8 Things We Hate About IT.” I must disclose that I got a free copy, but I don’t know Susan. I’ve seen her material on HBR for quite a while now and have enjoyed the reading and thoughts expressed there.
This is a very interesting book and I’m likely to read it again. I don’t think I’ve seen a book like this where it is written to the business leader to help them think differently about IT. Much of the book is about trade-offs and trying to understand things from IT’s perspective and then using that insight to make the best decision for the company.
For example, there is a chapter about tactics vs. strategy. Everyone in IT has had the experience of business partners calling up and needing something done without any joint dialog or understanding about why or what alternatives might be better. This chapter reflects on these trade-offs and on how IT can enable business strategy for the company and how the business needs to lead the way in defining key parts of the strategy.
Another chapter addresses one of my favorite ideas of IT Costs vs. IT Investments. If we can get the business to think of IT spending as investments and not costs, we’ve made a giant step forward in understanding. Much of what we do in IT is investments that enable the business or protect the business or speed up the business and we should think of them as investments for the future. Even using those words makes a difference. This chapter also talks about one of my favorite subject in IT, Portfolio Management.
“You get the IT you deserve” is a quote in the book. I recommend you take a look.