Currently Reading: Does IT Matter?

I found this book last weekend at the local Half-Price Books and thought I’d give it a read.

This well known book, and its author Nicholas Carr, has been at the center of a debate in the IT academic world for some time and I figure I should peruse it to see what the hubbub is all about.

Carr started a firestorm with his original 2003 article titled “IT Doesn’t Matter” in Harvard Business Review (see some rebuttal arguments here) and this book (written in 2004) takes the argument further by comparing IT to the railroad, telegraph and other technological innovations in years past.

Carr’s main argument seems to be that IT is a commodity…which I agree with somewhat. Services such as Email and Web hosting are exactly that…a commodity. The problem is that most organizations treat IT as a whole as a commodity instead of viewing it as a way to gain strategic advantage.

Once I finish the book, I’ll post my thoughts.

[tags] IT, Does IT Matter, IT Strategy [/tags]

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4 responses to “Currently Reading: Does IT Matter?”

  1. Chris Hladik Avatar

    First, I consider myself a genei (a crotchety one at that) without experience in many areas of business and technology. Second, there are better things to find at Half-Price Books. Third, wow!.. that’s a lot of gray, old man! 🙂

  2. Eric Brown Avatar

    Well if it isn’t the old genei himself.

    Thanks for the laugh…I’ll drop you an email to catch up…and yes…that is a lot of gray. 🙂

  3. Scot Herrick Avatar

    Even IT management views themselves as a commodity — hurting their ability to really support businesses.

    If you were to look at any new product or service out there, I’d venture to say there is a significant IT component that is included in the delivery or support of the product or service.

    When we treat IT as a commodity, our business becomes a commodity as well. A dangerous place to be.

  4. Eric Brown Avatar

    Good points Scot….thanks for stopping by.

    I especially like you comment of “when we treat IT as a commodity, our business becomes a commodity as well”….I agree.