The IT-Business Divide – Still Wide and Still Alive?

Estimated reading time: 2 mins

Do you still sense a big gap between the IT and Business?

What do you think should be done about it?

There is still quite a big gap in my opinion, and although it is reducing over time, there is still a perception of IT that it is all about tape-reels, basement rooms and fan-fold print outs! I’d say there was an equally perception of ‘The Business’ by IT people, and it is about quaffing champagne over relaxed lunches, golf and an easy ride. So I think the stereotyping goes both ways, but perhaps IT people moan about it the most.

I think as IT Professionals we need to knock the chip off our shoulder and stop whining about the gap and get on with fixing it. We can’t expect the world to come up to our level of skills in technology. It’s about time we started to engage on the same level as the business rather than see ourselves in some esoteric high ground. We’ve been fooling ourselves for too long that IT is a craft and inaccessible to anyone but the technical elite.

IT has a lot of work to do to build confidence in the business to talk the same language with us (this isn’t the same as talking *our* language). When we understand each other, the stereotypes will evaporate.

So think about it. Who in film or tv is a great role-model for IT? Edgar Stiles and Chloe O’Brian from 24? No. Ben Jabituya (the Indian geek from Short Circuit)? No. Sandra Bullock in ‘The Net’? No. These characters based on the technologist stereotype is based on the ignorance of the public, but also the ignorance of IT in not creating good role-models. We’re not meeting in the middle.

We’re going to have to step up several notches in the way we present ourselves to our colleagues and the way we approach common understanding. Ignorance and confusion in non-IT people is the fault of IT – not the other way around. If we don’t then the IT-Business Divide will stay wide and very much alive.

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