IT Cliches

7 03 2011

Now I missed posting on Friday, which has meant I have spent all day itching to get a post up. To my delight I have just read a couple of posts on IT clichés and thought “now there’s a post in that”. So here are some of my favourite clichés I have heard in IT and what I think of them…

It comes preconfigured and can be implemented right out of the box

Now I don’t think I have seen any solutions that come preconfigured that meet 100% your business needs. Sure there are solutions that come out of the box, but they need configuration, and they will need input from your business decision makers, well if you want it to work that is.

Often this is a marketing phrase (not really one from IT people) which many CEOs walk right into. Really, “vanilla implementations”, do you really think that a solution will meet your needs 100% with no configuration needed? No input from your business users?

Integrate out of the box with our connectors

Connectors are a great concept, and for certain popular integration needs connectors work fine. However this is not really the norm, rather you will need integration with many different platforms to address a complete business need, as such connectors may not be available or they don’t give you the flexibility / level of integration you desire.

Be aware connectors are usually quite expensive, and they often still require a level of professional services. More often than not, its cheaper to shell out for a dedicated developer and get exactly the integration you need.

Don’t let IT systems dictate how business is done

Curious this one. This is 100% correct; business should dictate how business is done and look to IT to implement it. However, IT needs to inform the business of the possibilities and the options.

Most commonly you will hear CEOs or business decision makers making this statement. Yet they are the same people who then opt for “vanilla implementations” which by their nature dictate business practices. If you don’t want IT to dictate how business is done, then you need to opt for Adaptive Platforms and or be prepared to look for professional services to deliver bespoke IT development for you…Quite the opposite really of “pre configured vanilla implementation”

We have never seen our software / hardware implemented in the same way you have

This means one of two things. 1) The company who originally put your software / hardware in, knew absolutely nothing (in which case why are they allowed to put that software in). However, that being said, it is usually internal IT that has been asked to deliver this software and no budget was put aside for using an external consultancy to ensure it goes correctly. 2) The company you are speaking to now, know absolutely nothing about your set up or needs.

It takes three CIOs to implement an ERP project: one to sell it, one to implement it, and one to make it work

Load of rubbish. Unemployed CIOs favourite cliché

It should be simple

This is my favourite. Often business decision makers, with a little knowledge or understanding of IT will make this statement when talking to a consultancy or IT in general. This is because they don’t actually grasp all that actually is going on; rather they just see the surface of the requirement. Worse, they may have seen it implemented elsewhere and forget just how much was invested to make it work that well (or they don’t know)

How can it cost that much

Brilliant, this follows on from “It should be simple”. Unfortunately IT can get complex, so in many cases business underestimates the actual cost of something. Though that being said, quite often business needs to ensure IT isn’t pulling the wool over its eyes (great argument for in house IT specialists, ETAs for example)

Little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing

When I first started in IT, one of the guys coming up for retirement used to say this a hell of a lot. In essence, people who think they know about IT (or anything) but actually don’t have that much knowledge are very dangerous people. Often they make poor decisions that have a massive impact on an IT solution or business in general. Beware these people; try to educate those around them so the blind doesn’t lead the blind…

Just give them an iPad

It seems to raise productivity; we just now hand out iPads or Blackberry phones. Not really going to help productivity, and it’s quite an expense for what? I have seen so many users with iPads and they are doing the most basic of tasks, unable to do more because the iPad can’t do more. This means that actually they are more productive than having no iPad, but less productive than having a netbook, which cost half as much…

While mobile computing is great and can really improve services and productivity, we need to start thinking about the actual tasks we need to perform on the go, and use the right mobile devices. Just because an iPad looks great and does certain things well, doesn’t mean it is the right device to use.

Delivered on time and to budget

Typically this means the initial release was on time, and to budget. An initial release may actually only cover though a subset of the actual requirements, and there may well be a lot more work to be done, and subsequent releases to be made. This isn’t always true; from time to time you will find organisations who deliver everything as desired on time, just read the small print before you take their word…

No one ever got fired for purchasing XYZ

This usually means purchase some IT software and justify its need. Unfortunately this leads to many IT solutions being under utilised, which essentially diminishes their ROI. Again, another strong argument for in house IT or using a consultancy to manage your IT strategy. Business decision makers need to be aware of what software is already available, before purchasing more software.




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