||A Business Forum Book Review:
An Interview with David Scott
Communication is the nervous system of civilization - the transmission and exchange of information sustaining the vitality of the community. To survive, even primitive societies need complex systems of communications.
Life in the 21st Century has unprecedented communication needs quite commonly being supported with extensive advanced technology. While much of today's Information Technology (IT) is truly amazing, all technology can easily become alienating. What was conceived to serve and extend the reach of human beings all-too-commonly serves ends of its own. The constraints of IT can bring estrangement and imprisonment - dehumanization.
I.T. Wars: Managing the Business-Technology Weave in the New Millennium by David Scott (BookSurge Publishing, LLC, 420 pages, $26.99) defines quite effectively the need to properly interlace and align information technology and business. The challenge is to pull disparate groups of people together from the disciplines of technology and business, to define mission needs, and to achieve the delivery of authentic solutions fulfilling the fundamental goals of the organization. This is a cultural challenge; Scott defines this new cultural standard as the Business-Technology Weave. "The Weave is an approach that turns everyone and everything into a responsible forward edge. It includes considerations of people, knowledge, communication, corporate culture, attitudes, relationships, content (information), infrastructure, applications, needs, and expectations. It comprises missions with specific beliefs, values, and standards in service to security and growth. The Weave clears political impairments, helps to dismantle protectionism and jealousy, breaks down departmental 'silos,' and ultimately opens the way to a future that you define - in preventing the alternative: future's imposition on you.
"Organizations need to be tuned and balanced in accordance with the continuum of change. Within this continuum are ongoing challenges, and the contiguous nature of technology's support to every corner and crevice of today's business process. You must maximize and safeguard employee activity. What are the liabilities in today's environment of e-mail, blogs, IMs, downloads, and portable data? Consider: What is being done 'in the name of your domain'? What are the new scales of disaster planning, preparedness, prevention, and recovery? Given the emerging, large-scale issues of national security — what can the 'local' organization do regarding economic vulnerabilities? What is your organization's role in contributing to the surrounding public safety — in securing your own?
"These areas and many more are exposed, examined, and discussed for ultimate outcome through the Weave. I.T. Wars begins with a patient, comprehensive exposure of today's environment and challenges, with equal attention to the Business and IT reader. Whether your organization is public, private, government agency, association, for-profit, non/not-for-profit, or even sole-proprietorship, you share in the same concerns: You need a business-driven technology strategy, as well as a business-serving one. I.T. Wars helps you to build an 'IT Enlightened Organization.' It builds a proper foundation of understanding with a clear view to forward progress — a vision and pragmatism strong enough to qualify any organization for discussion, planning, and achievement of the best business-technology outcomes. This environment qualifies as a true Business-Technology Weave — in leading and meeting every challenge, in delivering today and tomorrow's ultimate solutions."
"In the realm of risk, unmanaged possibilities become probabilities," notes David Scott. "Any business is dependent on one thing: a managed progression through a world of accelerative change. To the unqualified organization — whether large or small, public or private, government agency or non-profit group — change will soon have the appearance of a tsunami: channel it — or drown."
This is a practical how-to book to bring and keep the business and technology teams truly on the same page. The chapters addressing change management and delivery are on-target. Today's urgencies of Security, Content Management, and Disaster Preparedness offer hands-on guidance through these challenges. A concluding chapter, "The Heart of It All: Turning the Crank Day-by-Day," anticipates 24/7 IT support to optimize total business operations. This book is an excellent reference whenever Business-IT conflicts or gaps are encountered. Prior to initiating any major systems implementation or business change, David Scott should be required reading for the whole team.
See: Professional Profile of David Scott
Your comments and suggestions for these pages are most welcomed!
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Revised: August 10, 2006 TAF
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