Teaching Tech - Page 2

Jan 10, 2007

Allen Bernard

"(Business folks) would want to do this if they actually thought it through at all," suggests Orlov. "Because really IT is all around them. All of what they do, behind the scenes there's IT somewhere and too many business executives actually don't have a good appreciation of it."

Aberdeen's Wireless and Mobility Research Director Philippe Winthrop isn't quite convinced by this argument, however. He believes there is already a lot of educational opportunities for business people to learn about IT. Conferences are where a lot of end users get to know more about the technologies that enable their jobs, for example.

But, anything that helps bridge the chasm between IT and the people that depend in it is not a bad idea. You just have to be very careful that you construct the right curriculum for the right audience.

"Yes it is valuable but it depends on the audience," said Winthrop. "How often are (end users) going to care that the individual sitting in his or her cube, who is having problems with their email; do they really care it's being hosted somewhere and there's a data connectivity issue?"

No, not really. They just know their email isn't working properly and they can't get a file they need. They're still going to blame IT.

This is why you have to pick the issues that will have the most impact. And why these are not one-off sessions people will forget once they leave the classroom.

"If somebody explains SOA in a context of why it's useful, then it's worth it," said Orlov. "Greater understanding of IT for business people is directly a result of better communication from IT about what they're doing. And the more and better IT communication, the more likely IT is to be aligned with the strategy of the company."

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