Recently, I read a news article titled 'Paralympian regains legs, but dream lost' that caught my attention. It was a unique case, where a miracle that would be considered a divine blessing has actually shattered some really lofty dreams and ambitions. I really do not know if we should feel happy or sad for the individual concerned.
Every organization has its share of internal politics with so many different groups having conflicting interests. It is always a great challenge for a CIO to negotiate all these political alignments within the organization and implement an IT strategy spanning across different groups, departments, business units etc.
In most organizations, IT is still seen as a major cost center. While a lot of investments are required to build and maintain IT systems, the tangible benefits are less. The benefits may come in different form - increased sales, better employee productivity, higher customer satisfaction etc. But most of these benefits are intangible and cannot be expressed in numbers (profits). Hence it becomes very difficult for a CIO to convince the rest of the organization on investing more in IT systems.
While an 'in-house' CIO and IT department themselves have a huge task in negotiating the political alignments, the situation becomes even more challenging when you throw in an outsourcing vendor or worse, multiple outsourcing vendors. Although the practice of Outsourcing is fast spreading across the developed world, there are also a number of concerns among the employees of the outsourcing company - Loss of jobs, loss of control / power within their departments, distrust of foreign players etc.Under such circumstances, negotiating organizational politics of the client is one big problem faced by the vendors. More often than not, the vendors have to work with multiple departments and implement systems spanning across the organization. Being outsiders, they do not have the required political clout within the client company to force the warring parties to the negotiating table. The result - Non-cooperation, deliberate witholding of information, political manipulations, blaming the vendors for anything that goes wrong etc.
A couple of months back, we were discussing the Ipod – Itunes phenomena in one of our classes. We were discussing the game changing effects of the Ipod – Itunes Combo which has completely re-organized the entire value chain of the music industry.
Today, is the publishing industry poised for a similar shake up? The Kindles and the iPads are competing with each other coming up with new models and arrangements. The way customers approach books and other published content has been constantly changing over the years and these devices seem to be accelerating the pace.
In my previous post, I had recollected the changes in my life over the past decade. Along the same lines, I also started thinking about the important events of the past decade that have affected our lives. The ones that I have mentioned here are those that popped into my mind as soon as I thought about the past decade. These are the events that caught my attention - Events that brought joy and also those brought great sorrow. They made us happy, elated, proud, shocked, sad, angry and sometimes even frustrated. Some of these literally transformed the world that we live in, while others had a more personal effect. I hope that a similar list drawn in 2020, will contain more of the joyful events and less of the tragic ones.
During the last week of 2009, the newspapers were full of count downs, ‘Top ten‘, ’50 Best…’, ’50 worst…’ and other such recollections of the past decade. Along the same lines, I started thinking of the major events and changes in my own life over the past decade. It has been a decade of changes, especially in the external world. These have produced a big change in my life style. It is amazing how life has changed with the fast changing pace of the external world !
2000 was a landmark year in my school life. I wrote my 12th std board exams that year and joined an engineering college. I took computer science as my major because of the recent Y2K boom, because I hated electronics and also because my closest friend chose that stream in a college.