Via TechDirt comes Don’s Tapscott rebuttle to Nicholas Carr’s article (and now book) “Does IT Matter?” :
The Engine That Drives Success – best companies have best business models because they have best IT strategies. – CIO Magazine May 1,2004
Tapscott points are :commodifing Hardware does nothing to commodify the Information on it; Non proprietary software based on open standards makes the software more like to be customized and less of a commodity; IT Drives new Business Models.
Myself, I’ve always thought that Carr missed that IT is so much more variable and flexible than the older elements (like Electricity) he used as examples and how hard it is to use IT to add more than just incremental value. But then just having electricity was never the point, that being how to use to, in the assembly line for example, which took a while to figure out. I also think Carr is not allowing for the effects of Moore’s Law (see “The Effects of Moore’s Law and Slacking on Large Computations” for an example). So If I was going to refute Carr I would use 2 titles : The Effects of Moore’s Law and Slacking on Large Corporations, and The application of IT Does Matter.
Companies that follow Carr’s line and implement his recommendations – spend less; follow, don’t lead; focus on vulnerabilities, not opportunities – will fail against those that innovate in IT in order to do new and or better things.
Mr Carr has a summary of his argument in the May 2004 Wired under Want to Piss Off a CEO? and the original “Why IT doesn’t matter anymore” is re-produced here