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In the May 10 issue of Digital Business, Ade McCormack asked whether the IT department needed to change its ways. We asked for readers’ opinions and here is a sample of your comments posted on www.ft.com/digitalbusiness:
● IT Consultant: “Most problems are caused by culture clashes. Sometimes the IT consultants believe they should be treated like gods. Sometimes end-users believe the IT consultants can be treated as subordinates.
“If the company cultures of the parties involved are compatible, the chances of success are much greater. I have witnessed some criminal abuses of power by both IT consultants and end-users.”
● Peter Armstrong: “Is IT doing a great job? No. If it was, the first thing it would do is get rid of the stupid name IT, which conjures up visions of men in white coats.
“What is desperately required is for both sides to talk to one another in a common language. This language will not be technical. Business needs to explain to IT what its goals are and how much they are worth. IT needs to respond with options in business language.”
● N. Venkatraman: “Most IT departments have been managed as a cost centre and their bedside manners reflect that orientation. What we need is a different orientation that reflects what the IT department delivers in terms of business value.”
● UNIX geek: “Users should have at least a modicum of knowledge of what their PC does before they are let anywhere near one. You wouldn’t employ somebody who couldn’t read or use a tool they were paid to use. So why is computer illiteracy any different to real illiteracy?”