Stop IT directors from moving on

Watching captains of the established services and software industry enjoying themselves on the merry-go-round at the Computing Services & Software Association's 25th birthday party



John Riley

Groundswell

Watching captains of the established services and software industry enjoying themselves on the merry-go-round at the Computing Services & Software Association's 25th birthday party held recently gave me pause for thought.

In the 1980s they were the dynamic, swashbuckling young Turks who carved a name for themselves and their companies - although it took them 10 to 12 years to get their millions compared to the two to three years their dotcom counterparts take today.

They know all the tricks, dodges and pitfalls rampant in the IT supply industry. As one executive pointed out, the new dotcoms face the same old problems and have to be told and re-told the basic business fundamentals of our industry. The wiser dotcoms, or at least their backers, are securing transfer of this knowledge by giving these oldies non-executive directorships.

That side of the industry, therefore, seems OK. Less so the user side. I'm struck by the number of IT directors leaving the industry, retiring early or otherwise moving on. A huge amount of expertise is drifting away.

They've learnt similar tricks the same hard way from the user perspective but are less able to pass on their experience to the new generation of users.

Surely, this is a cause that one of the many user bodies could take up.

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