Tuesday 19 September 2006

If they aren't strategic, why are they so essential?

I've been thinking about a piece by Mark Jones in the AFR last week (IBM notes changing trends in bid to boost Lotus, 14 September 2006, Australian Financial Review) where he comments "chief information officers rarely consider Notes, or competitive software such as Microsoft Office, to be a strategic purchase."

I don't disagree with the observation - but it troubles me greatly that CIO's don't think much about the strategic value, or strategic impacts, of their decisions about the basic messaging and office productivity tools they provide to staff. Could this be why so many experienced Lotus Notes users are so passionate about their tool or why so many businesses run on the smell of an Microsoft Excel spreadsheet?

So if they aren't strategic, why are they so essential? Take these work horses away from people, and many organisations would grind to a halt. And perhaps this is why so many people inside the firewall are getting excited about what Web 2.0 technologies will let them do?

BTW The context for the article was to report on IBM's attempts to rejuvenate Lotus Notes by positioning it as a social software-friendly platform - the AFR's article isn't available online (except to subscribers), but this ARNnet article from earlier in the year gives you an idea of what IBM are planning.

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1 comment:

  1. I think in this context "strategic" means "makes you look cool in front of the other C-level execs".

    You could make an argument that the purchasing of chairs and tables for offices is essential but not strategic - as these are now effectively a commodity.


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