Sunday, August 27, 2006

Tech: Call it Business Technology, not IT?

I saw a commentary from George Colony at Forrester (a technology analysis company, somewhat similar to Gartner) via Vladimir Stojanovski suggesting the term "information technology" be transformed to "business technology".. Following on from that, a CIO should be called a CBT - from "Chief Information Officer" to "Chief Business Technologist". This is envisaged as something akin to the gradual ascendancy of the term "information technology" over "data processing" (which latter rightly bit the dust).

In the commercial world, I think it's an absolute imperative for technology to focus on business solutions. Paraphrasing the words of blogger Dratz (information architect), "the best technology solution is not always the best business solution". In effect, the frame of mind of the technology architect should be squarely on the business needs and imperatives. Yet, too often technology and business architecture are not sufficiently well-aligned. A good example is the amount of business re-engineering needed to successfully implement SAP, that monolithic ERP system.

So it makes great sense (in most cases) for that role to be CBT (or CBTO) rather than CIO. (Any ideas for something a little less clumsy?)

However, a complete re-alignment of conception of technology - as business technology - is a little off the mark. It's rather a commercial takeover of I.T., despite the fact that I.T. reaches into far more areas than simply business. It's attaching the values of business to an appellation that has other imperatives wrapped up in it, from government to non-profit sector to end consumer.

It remains that, within business, there can't be too much emphasis placed on technology addressing the specific business issues.

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