The 27 great universal lies of IT We asked our hardy band of cynical, battle-scarred CIOs to nominate their favourite fictions, furphies and fables about IT that just keep on keeping on.
Like any industry that can trace its roots back more than 50 years, IT has accumulated its share of myths -- those fictions, furphies and fables that just keep on keeping on.
Many of these deceits have been exposed with the passing of time. For example, Bill Gates won’t give you money to forward that e-mail; early adoption won’t put you ahead of the game; and the stroke of midnight 2000 was not computing’s Armageddon.
More recently, we have come to know that Second Life is not the Second Coming; bloggers have precious little to say; and most IT projects fail.
Yet some fallacies remain.
We asked our hardy band of cynical, battle-scarred CIOs to nominate their favourites. They’ve suggested that as we settle into 2010, these gems survive as the great universal lies of IT.
Angus McDonald, Technical Director, Elcom
1. We can fix the cost of a project
“Specifying a fixed cost, timeframe and set of requirements (the iron triangle) leads to pain. It’s a consistent lie told by salespeople -- and believed by customers -- that they can fix all three on any IT project that involves creativity or an aspect of customisation. They can’t.”
2. We know how long that will take
“No we don’t. Really. We can take a guess, and we might be good at guessing, but without actually doing it, we can’t tell how long it will take.”
3. IT people are smarter
“Unfortunately this is not true, and thinking it is true is one of the really silly mistakes young IT professionals sometimes make.”
4. IT people are boring
“Also not true. There is a fair representation of most types of people in IT. Now that doesn’t mean their work is interesting to hear about -- IT professionals can bore you to death as much as any accountant, actor or athlete.”
Allan Davies, CIO Dematic
There’s not much that Davies hasn’t seen or heard across 25 years as an IT professional. However, with some prompting, he was able to keep his list of big lies to four. . .
5. It’s just software
6. IT is a department full of propeller heads
7. CIOs don’t understand the business
8. We just play with really cool stuff
Brett McDowall, CTO of Object Consulting
McDowall needed a little more space but, to be fair, he was attempting to cover a little more ground…
9. I can do this at home; why is it so hard here?
10. I can get this for free on the Web
11. I didn’t touch anything so why doesn’t it work?
12. This vendor will solve all our problems
13. Let’s outsource everything so it will all work properly -- out of sight is better
14. Let’s in-source everything so it will all work properly -- and we can see it
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