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8 Things We Hate About IT: How to Move Beyond the Frustrations to Form a New Partnership with IT Paperback – March 29, 2010
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About the Author
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
This book is organized by the eight hates” outline above, with a chapter dedicated to each to examine and reconcile the frustrations. We will change the ors” into ands” by answering the following questions:
Chapter 1: How can serve in a controlled manner?
Chapter 2: How can we deliver results while enhancing the relationship?
Chapter 3: How can we identify tactics that are grounded in strategy?
Chapter 4: How can we make sure our expenses are investments?
Chapter 5: How can deliver quickly, with quality?
Chapter 6: How can we have customized standardization?
Chapter 7: How can we innovate in spite of the bureaucracy?
Chapter 8: How can transform from good to great IT?
In reading this book, business leaders may feel like I am letting IT off easy and making the whole IT-business relationship thing their problem to solve. I am. The only person you can change is you and, in the process of changing yourself, IT will be forced to change. Great relationships aren’t 50-50, they are 100-100 with each party doing whatever they can to meet the needs of the other. But rest assured, while I am nagging you, the business leader, I am also implicitly holding IT accountable for being a good partner. In the last chapter, I make the implicit, explicit by summarizing what you should expect from IT, and if you aren’t getting it, outlining how to serve yourself if IT is incapable of doing so.
Top Customer Reviews
Cramm's point is that "No rational person hates the people within IT, but everybody, IT and business leaders alike, hate the current IT system." Page 155. Cramm intends to address this point by having the business participate this current system.
Unfortunately, the book's advice is to have the business executives get more involved with the practices of the current IT system that everyone hates. This becomes apparent as you read the book and understand its central premise that it's the business's responsibility to make IT work.
I do not recommend sharing this book with a business executive to get them to suddenly wake up and say - yes I have been neglecting IT all these years and it is my fault. Cramm suggests that business leaders will come to this revelation on their own. (pages 141-144) The book does not make a strong enough argument backed by real examples of how this works.
If you are going to convince business leaders to spend more time on IT, then you need to present hard evidence, what others are getting by spending more time. You cannot just assert that it is the right thing to do. I can see where a business leader could read the book and take away the idea that this is IT restating old arguments and shifting responsibility away from IT and onto the business. That is an understanding may do more damage than help.
Weill and Ross's book IT Savvy does a better job and is heavily footnoted in this book.Read more ›
Cramm is on target in a clear and clarifying way about what needs to be done by business if the potential value of technology is to be realized. Crisp writing (except for the occasional "yank the bandage off" phrase) regarding the critical issues is engaging and informative. Cramm's critique of the approach to managing the IT assets is constructive with suggestions as to what to do liberally sprinkled throughout the easy-to-read book.
This is a recommended read for the executive who is wondering what to do about IT. I would likely make it assigned reading for my client executives were I still in the consulting business. As it is, I have some other ideas as to how to use the book in the context of some of my current responsibilities.
It is regrettable that the issues and recommendations are too easily recognizable by many of us who have been in IT for a long time. One is left to wonder how much progress has really been made in generating value through the application of IT. Perhaps this points to a void in the higher education curriculum.
It occurs to me that a subtitle for this book could be "We have met the enemy and he is us." Ah, the prescient Pogo.
The truth is that the things Susan Cramm identifies as hated by business people are things that we in IT aren't so crazy about either.
The real value in this book is Susan's plea for the folks on the "business" side of the house to own their IT; to think of it as THEIR tool for getting THEIR work done as opposed to a kind of neutral service that should do their bidding. That kind of attitude change would make a tremendous difference in an organization's ability to leverage its systems for real competitive advantage.
There are practical suggestions here for building the sort of partnership that we need between business and IT. I think that those suggestions are both realistic and attainable, even if they are likely to nudge us all out of our comfort zones. In other words, don't expect just a theoretical discussion of how things oughtta be... there's real guidance for how to get there.
As for readability- I rarely use a highlighter in a book, but a quarter of the way through this one, I made an exception. It's full of interesting factoids and quotable quotes and I wanted to be able to find them again when I needed to steal them.
Finally, for what it's worth, I also enjoyed what struck me as a uniquely female sensibility around some of the thought here. Two quick examples...
In relaying an illustration of one IT manager's plight she describes his much-cultivated business alignment as being "like the alignment of a husband and wife with separate bedrooms and separate vacations."
Later she says that "Dealing with the typical IT department is like trying to date someone difficult.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I only wish Ms. Cramm had published her book sooner. It would have made my job of bringing the IT department into strategic alignment a whole lot less painful. Read morePublished on September 16, 2011 by Teresa Robinson
I only wish I could put your book in my blender then pour it over my oatmeal each morning for "food for thought". Read morePublished on January 18, 2011 by George
Susan's writing style is quite enjoyable and this book is a good read. The premise of the book is to help non IT leaders understand how IT departments function and how to get the... Read morePublished on November 7, 2010 by M. Ahmed
In 8 Things We Hate about IT, Susan Cramm has done a great service for corporate America. By exposing a full taxonomy of the ills that can strike the Business/IT partnership, she... Read morePublished on August 9, 2010 by John Nerenberg
8 Things We Hate About I.T..." [Cramm, Susan "8 Things We Hate About I.T.: How to Move Beyond the Frustrations to Form a New Partnership with I.T. Read morePublished on June 25, 2010 by Barton K. Hawkins
This is an excellent book, filled with great tips and ideas for forging a tight partnership between the business and IT. Read morePublished on June 19, 2010 by David J. Cohen
8 Things We Hate About I.T.: How to Move Beyond the Frustrations to Form a New Partnership with I.T. is a pick for any business collection. Read morePublished on June 18, 2010 by Midwest Book Review
I connected with Susan's writing on HBR and truly loved the stretch thinking evidenced in her book. It rings true on so many subjects, that it should be required reading for... Read morePublished on June 4, 2010 by Rufus T. Fuddpucker, Esq. III
This book reminded me of "Men are from Mars, Women from Venus" in that it enumerates the differences of mentality, psychology, business imperatives, etc. Read morePublished on June 1, 2010 by Turkish Rabbi