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The great universal truths of IT

The great universal truths of IT

Our panel of Australian CIOs weigh-in with some fundamental realities about IT that have stood the test of time.

These things we know to be true. . .

When you're standing in a queue, the other line always moves faster. Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach. Licking a steak knife is dangerous. And never wrestle a pig: you both get dirty and the pig enjoys it.

According to Aristotle, the value of such maxims is that they bring character to any discussion designed to persuade others. Truisms appeal to every audience because they touch upon universal truths about life.

So having scoured CIO-land recently in search of the great universal lies of IT we thought it fitting to complement that wisdom with some fundamental realities that have also stood the test of time.

Again, we thank our panel of Australian CIOs, who already know that foolproof systems don’t take into account the ingenuity of fools; and that the number of people watching you is directly proportional to the stupidity of your action.

Marc White, Head of IT at Bravura Solutions

1. Users tell fibs
Yes, we do. It’s human nature.

“Users will always say the opposite when something is wrong,” says White.

“If they say ‘no, I have no idea how the case of my laptop ended up like that’, what they mean is ‘yes, having dropped my laptop, I figured you wouldn’t notice and can arrange a replacement’”.

Mark Settle, CIO of BMC

2. You can’t spend enough time with end users.
Even though we can’t be trusted to always tell the truth, those kind souls in IT still know that when it comes to making technology investments pay, they need us as much as we need them.

“In general, IT interacts most frequently with power users in specific departments or functional groups within a company,” Settle says.

“These individuals have a vested interest in making themselves more productive, not necessarily making the average users within their departments more productive.

“So you end up with IT investments that might benefit a tiny segment of your overall user population. Spending time with your true end customers can be incredibly insightful and rewarding.”

Allan Davies, CIO of Dematic

3. IT projects undergo greater scrutiny than other business projects

4. IT delivers many intangibles -- which often cannot be measured -- making our ROIs harder to justify

5. Users don’t take advantage of all the functionality offered in applications

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