I just read Rob Ford’s column in ComputerWorld Canada. (“Internet banking is a joke,” Feb. 9, 2001, page 14.) I agree with the headline, and note that it can be applied to many other industries that rely on IT to make things functional.
However, I am also someone who has a view from the inside. One of my contracts provides various services on an extremely large scale to a variety of customers. I continually speak up and ask why such-and-such is not done. The bottom line is one of provisioning: “We would like to supply a particular service (which we can do manually from the back end) but until it can be provisioned – integrated and synchronized with billing, marketing, front line support systems, etc. – it cannot be effectively provided, even if the technology is there.”
In Rob’s case, as in mine, we are talking about large organizations that have two marks against them: it is hard to change directions due to sheer bureaucracy, and it is hard to change directions due to the sheer scale of what must be done.