There is no question that the flashy has now become mundane. That IT in many ways is getting closer to facilities management than it is to biotech (another has been?), or green technology such as windmills (wow- flashy?) and tide power, etc. etc. As the article pointed out, Siebel’s perception of the facts are suspect, but that doesn’t mean he is wrong, or prescient.
But wait. IT is in green tech power systems, and it’s in information processing, and it’s in SCADA systems, and it’s in biotech, and…
So the real question is what do we mean by glory days, and what do we mean by mature, and what do we mean by IT, and how do we measure IT. It is definitely not a technology question.
Will IT growth (however measured) be more closely aligned with economic growth?
It always has been.
Will IT growth be a multiplier of most other industries average growth?
It rarely has been.
Has IT use saturated most businesses?
If it’s not close, it will be sometime soon.
Except for (maybe even for) vendors, is IT part of the mission, or something to help accomplish the mission of a company? Clearly the latter.
So why wouldn’t we be at a stage where things are more mundane, and the use of technology more INTEGRATED with the business, hence growing at the same rate as the business is?
From a vendor perspective, it may be declining growth rates.
But from a business end user perspective, I think we’re in the middle-age days…so if you think your glory days were your teens-20s, when you had growth spurts, acne, bad decisions, too many choices, and disposable (kid-less) income…more power to you. But middle age is where the rubber really hits the road, the income/productivity years, and great usage is made of new and existing assets. Yup. That’s where we are in IT.
The best is yet to come for companies working on solving business problems (IT) rather than selling technology (IT vendors), but, like Siebel says, it won’t last forever.
The real question in my mind is whether IT spending, on average, will go down as a percentage of total spend for a company. And I think that is harder to answer since some of that IT spend is now part of business spend, and not just in the IT department’s budget.
We at Burton group call that externalization, and consumerization, and democratization…trends that should be at a core of any company’s IT strategy.
And that, as they say, is the rest of the story…