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Couple of contradictions
on May 16, 2004
I found a couple of contradictions that, to me, undermine the book. Mr. Carr compares the electric revolution of 100 years ago with the more recent IT revolution and argues that since electricity no longer confers a competitive advantage, then IT should be treated the same way. He underscores this by pointing out that "many large companies created the new management post of vice president of electricity...But within a few years...[they] quietly disappeared" (pg 29-30). Later in the book, he states that "the seniormost corporate IT executives...need to lead the way in promulgating a new sense of realism about the strengths and limitations of IT" (pg 133). If VPs of electricity are unnecessary, then why not so for IT executives?
He also seems to contradict himself regarding ERP and Web browsing software. On page 113 he states, "Yet the vast majority of workers who use PCs rely on only a few simple applications - word processing, spreadsheets, e-mail, and Web Browsing". But earlier he writes, "ERP packages promised to solve, and sometimes did solve, one of the most daunting and expensive problems facing modern companies: the proliferation of narrow, discrete software applications" (pg 46). And on page 115, he describes how one business improved productivity by getting rid of Web browsers.