Today I attended a meeting, which I had been invited to by AITech-Assinform (Italian Association for Information Technology) in Milan. This event intended, as usual, to give a detailed preview of the “Report on IT, TLC and multimedia 2006” to the associated members.
During the general manager of AITech-Assinform speech, Federico Barilli showed one more time the status of association’s activities: what it has done and what it would be doing in the near future.
The occasion was very helpful in pointing out what are real needs and objectives that Information Technology companies be looking at, if they want to develop their business and create value in the Italian market.
The most important thing he said was:
“We all should know who we are!”
In these few words he identified the principle concern which Italian companies working in the IT field must face with, if they want to survive.
And this is what I’ve been saying over the past three years: in Italy nobody (supplier or customer) knows what Information Technology means. Nobody knows about the competencies, skills and empowering technologies that the “real world business” demands today. Nobody knows what IT is about (see my previous post “What is IT?”).
Some thinks that this is about some computer’s geeks working on something that they don’t need to see and that they should never have to take notice of. Some think that innovation is only a new label by which to increase his revenues.
Even from the economical point of view, the Italian scenario is unbelievably immature: we are losing at the moment a lot of regional-targeted European funds because there is no legal/syndicated recognition of any IT job role!
Analysts and consultants, mainly from NetConsulting firm, have delivered reports among which should be remembered the speech of Annamaria Di Ruscio: in which she points out the latest trends in national demand and the related positives and negative aspects.
Anyway, long before any objective and concern analysis, the main issues that stand in front of us now, and cannot go on being ignored any more are about the basis of our work: what we mean for “IT”? What our customers mean for “IT”? What we must do to sharpen our vision and bring it to the market, by actually aligning the business with Information Technology?
These questions need to be answered. The solution must be applied, now, because nobody can survive in a field where the first self-declared IT professional stands on and sells his time and his incompetence at the lowest price to a range of customers who can only look at the price when evaluating offerings, because they do not know what they are buying!
The solution is to create awareness in the customers of the role that IT products and services have in their everyday life at the same time creating a clear and rigorous process to legally certify IT professionals and vendors. There is no more time to waste words: we have to choose between maintaining fraudulent “IT businesses” and staying behind, or to let Information Technology help us to evolve.