21 January 2012

Breakfast with Betz

Machteld Meijer and Mark Smalley had the pleasure of meeting up with Charles Betz for a breakfast discussion on Saturday 21st January 2012. Charlie is based in Minneapolis in the USA and a highly respected member of the IT community. He was on business in Europe and found time on his way from Antwerp to Amsterdam to exchange thoughts with a couple of members of the of the of ASL BiSL Foundation.

The wide-ranging discussion covered fundamental topics such as the difference between information (referring to Shannon) and information technology; the gray boundary between demand and supply of IT services and when to formalize and divide the demand-supply responsibilities; the MBA fallacy (managers don’t need to understand the underlying business) and the general business management skills that many IT people lack; the lack of a common language between business and IT; IT services (distinguishing between types and instances); IT goods being replaced by services and IT professionals moving up the IT stack; cargo cult science and people regarding IT as magic; the role of the CIO and the often dysfunctional CFO-CIO relationship; the funding of IT (referring to Meyer).