Sorting the hype from the reality

A lot of attention-getting words like terror, panic, falling, striking, crashing and dot-bomb have been in the news these days. These may be gripping in headlines fighting for readers’ attention, but it’s hard for good news to get the front page treatment it may deserve. Contrary to what you may have been reading, the IT sector, for example, is not all doom and gloom. Transitions are always difficult but they typically herald new areas of growth or gain.

John Chambers, CEO of networking equipment manufacturer Cisco Systems, Inc., paints a positive overall picture for the IT sector, although admittedly it is in his best interest to do so. Speaking recently in Toronto, he made a good point that the role of IT in boosting productivity is just too critical for it to be a down market forever. He said he has seen investment paybacks of four or five times due to productivity improvements from “just okay” implementations.

Of course it is foolhardy to suggest that investing in IT will automatically lead to increased profitability. Computerworld Today’s Sandra Van Dijk recently quoted Martin Butler, chairman of the European IT analyst company Butler Group, as suggesting that companies need to look beyond the hype to see exactly where IT is affecting the bottom line. “This degree of close scrutiny seems to confirm the growing suspicion that IT’s contribution is favourable only if a business is already well managed. IT makes well-managed companies better and poorly managed companies worse,” he said.

This publication presents some of the successes from the front line that you’re not likely to see in the glaring news reports. I hope you gain encouragement from it.

I would also like to draw your attention to the new name of this publication. IT Focus better reflects our mission to create a magazine that addresses the specific IT issues in your industry. This publication has evolved in response to readers of sister publications and visitors to requesting more information on specific topics as they relate to their particular industry. I invite you to contact me directly with your comments and ideas.