Rarely do I write targeted responses to specific blog posts, but last week, an article crossed my screen that I think is both representative of many people’s attitudes, and enormously flawed in its assumptions, logic, and conclusions. Esmeralda Swartz, writing for ReadWrite.com, titularly opines the following: “So What If Chief Marketing Officers Outspend CIOs On Enterprise Tech?” Even more grandiosely, the post’s subtitle is “Isn’t it possible that a technology buying process driven by marketers instead of technologists will make things better?”
Well, I suppose I should allow that anything might be possible, but no, not by the unconvincing (yet not atypical) line of argument Swartz pursues, and not when you consider standard business realities. Here are a few representative quotes related to the backbone of her argument, namely that buying technology is like buying a new car:
- “Let’s look at an everyday example. Prior to investing large sums of money in a new car, few people feel the need to master the inner workings of the internal combustion engine. “
- “Despite all this blindness, for the most part, what we buy doesn’t let us down.”
- “Ultimately, we’ve got a problem that buying a car solves, so we buy a car.”
- “Buying software – wait for it – simply because it threatened to get the job done – will likely ruffle some feathers.”
Here’s the thing, though. IT systems are not cars.