Monday, December 25, 2006


Response to Gary Short on the importance of educating children on IT (Part Two)

I previously responded to Gary Short on the importance of educating children on IT but thought of some additional things we can do as professionals...

Two things that IT professionals at large need to fix is first getting more women into our profession as if you look at what us men came up with (Outsourcing, inflated IT budgets, an enterprise with at least ten languages, the lack of strong technical leadership and the notion of diversity and inclusion that is neither diverse nor inclusive) then you would realize that the only solution may be to turn over IT to more women.

Second, we need to allow women to be IT professionals and still be women. No one should have to make the choice between being a mother which is the most wondeful thing that God can give to us and the notion of a career and climbing the ladder. If we had more successful women in IT as role models they may become the sorely needed missing role models that school children in our respective countries need and more importantly deserve.

The third thing that I think we as IT professionals can do is getting even those that have avoided large enterprises like the plaque to embrace the notion of enterprise architecture. Consider, for a moment that any enterprise architect worth their salt understands that every decision they make needs to be sustainable. The ones that have wholesale adopted practices such as outsourcing are derelict in their duties.

Sustainability says that wise enterprises will figure out ways to build talent that they will need twenty years from now and that working with high-school students is not just a matter of volunteerism but that someone should be on the payroll and working towards this notion full-time as part of their day job.

Part of the problem is that us enterprise architects sometimes can't see the forest for all those damn trees as we are too busy concocting strategies. We also fall prey to industry analysts and the pattern they promote instead of doing the right thing for ourselves.

I would like to compare/contrast conversations I had with two different women industry analysts to show a point. I do apologize if either is offended, but ask that they consider not their own perspective but the larger picture which are the children.

The two analysts are Anne Lapkin of Gartner and Brenda Michelson of Elemental Links Both provide coverage on the space of enterprise architecture and the notion of Talent Management.

Now consider from a tradition perspective senior executives have long been seen as the strategy-makers in the organization, their role in the process has been the most extensively written about and examined. In fact, the frequent in-depth analysis of the challenges facing the leader at the top of the organization may have considerable and unconsidered downside. When we focus all our attention and skills on the leader at the top of the organizational chart, we risk ignoring and minimizing the roles of the leaders at all levels who, cumulatively, can have more impact on the organizations actual strategy.

Taking this one step further, very few industry analysts study the bottom of the pyramid and therefore for IT executives who practice Management by Magazine tend to not gain a perspective of what a beginner needs to become aware of and tend to base things on their own perspectives which may not translate into any form of strategy that helps growth either from College, High School or anyone not on the executive track.

Gary, we need to get industry analysts to start talking about the introductory aspects of IT and what is needed to be successful in the new world. While many folks will say that this is intuitive and common sense, I beg to differ. Any study on talent management needs to have not only an executive perspective but one of the high school student as well.

FYI. I also forgot to mention that at work, I also have reporting to me, a wonderful high-school student who knows how to program but isn't yet old enough to drive. Don't assume that all tasks require college degrees as I can factually prove that many tasks don't even require a high school diploma...

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