Book Review: Does IT matter?

Times have changed for IT. Is there really anyone who has looked at the consolidation in the IT market, the slowing of IT sales growth, the decline of IT profit margins, and who hasn't realised something bad - at least in relative terms for the IT industry - was happening? Microsoft and Sun Microsystems are becoming friends, for crying out loud.

Does IT matter by Nicholas Carr

IT has been wildly successful insinuating itself into every aspect of business life, and it will continue to do so. The developing world remains a great market, and selected industries - healthcare is a big one Carr rightly identifies - still have far to go in adopting IT. But much of the IT build-out is done. That includes hardware and most software. For both IT purveyors and IT users, figuring out competitive advantages based solely on the technology is difficult. It always was, but the rush to not be left out of the wiring of the world kept the corporate IT buying engine stoked.

So is the notion true that IT has run its course as a source of competitive advantage, as Carr suggests? Good question. For the kinds of tasks we've come to expect from IT, the answer is probably yes. Carr also argues that the ubiquity of IT supply means that even for tasks we haven't thought of yet, IT can't deliver persistent, competitive advantage.

Maybe. But unlike gas, water, and electricity, IT is remarkably malleable. We have no idea what's next. At a minimum, IT will continue knitting together business and society in ways that are familiar and addicting. It's also likely that unexpected surprises are ahead, and who knows what competitive advantages they will bring. The market will tell us.

Carr's book isn't bad. It's often interesting, just not profound. How much you learn depends on how closely you've been watching the IT revolution.

Author: Nicholas Carr
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
ISBN: 1591394449 Price: $US26.95 URL: www.harvardbusinessonline.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Russell

PC World
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Bang and Olufsen Beosound Stage - Dolby Atmos Soundbar

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Sony WF-1000XM3 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Nakamichi Delta 100 3-Way Hi Fi Speaker System

Learn more >

ASUS ROG, ACRONYM partner for Special Edition Zephyrus G14

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit for Nintendo Switch

Learn more >

Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean 9000 Toothbrush

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Teac 7 inch Swivel Screen Portable DVD Player

Learn more >

SunnyBunny Snowflakes 20 LED Solar Powered Fairy String

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?