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Monday, June 04, 2007

Shock of the New

I was reading an interesting article by Tim Harford in the weekend FT. He highlighted the recent death of Alfred Chandler who highlighted the effect of technology on an organisation. He highlighted that economists beleive that technology and business performance shape each other.

I always remember an economist quipping that despite all the money spent on IT that it had not really shown up in improving peoples productivity. Though like Harford I think that they are having an impact despite my earlier post on Saturday.

Technology is nothing without other factors changing around it such as the design of offices but also that business and society needs to adapt.

This has been a theme in some earlier posts as I believe as does Eirik Brynjolfson at MIT that the current crop of collaborative software will be useless unless organisations take the opportunity to change to take advantage of the new technology. We need to recognise that we are all knowledge workers now and that the old command and control management style needs to loosen if we are to obtain the benefits.

This sort of change is slower than the changes that technology is making in our lives but that does not mean that management can ignore it So before thinking about that big IT spend - ask yourself - is your organisation also ready to change.

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