Debate On IT Spending Vs. Productivity

from the silly-debates dept

For years people have been debating whether or not information technology increases productivity. I’ve read a bunch of studies on this subject, and I’ve come to a pretty simple conclusion: most of these studies are both ridiculous and useless. The question is wrong – and is, at best, pointless. It’s looking at something in the aggregate which shouldn’t be. Certain IT spending will increase productivity. That is IT spending that is well thought out, well implemented, and well accepted. IT spending for ridiculous reasons or poorly implemented or accepted will do nothing or possibly hurt productivity. The net result on productivity tells you nothing useful. The interesting study would be to look at where productivity increased due to IT spending and figure out why – as well as where productivity decreased due to IT spending and figure out why. But, just adding up the results tells you nothing, except possibly whether the smart implementations outweighed the stupid ones.

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