They said you would be Business Technologist by now.
Here is one prediction from Forrester Research that went astray. We published this in 2006 and thought it worthwhile publishing again to see how far it came true. See what you think.
Dawn of a New Era
After Data Processing and Information Technology we are about to enter a new era. This is according to a well respected predictor of industry patterns George F Colony. He is the chief Executive of Forrester Research.
In the first era, people in our industry said that they worked in DP (or EDP), i.e. Data Processing.
During this period, the accent was on replacing manual systems by computer systems. They saw this as a great labour saving device. So, during downturns in the economy they still spent heaps of money on computer systems as they saw this as ways of cutting costs from the bottom line.
We didn’t have major downturns in those days.
Dawning of Information Technology
I remember at one company where I contracted, one guy who was on a ‘special project’ told us that he worked in Information Technology. So, he, unlike us, was an Information Technologist.
What’s that we asked him, feeling a bit dated and wondering how we could get into this ‘new thing’.
He was a bit airy fairy in his replies and we were none the wiser but it seems that he did much the same as us anyway.
It seemed that we had been Information Technology as well without knowing it.
It was just the buzz term that had changed.
However, it emphasised the fact that information had become the most important part of the system rather than mere transaction processing.
This, they tell us, is the Information Age, and the biggest differentiator between business now is access to the best information.
I’m afraid they are saying it is all changing again.
At some time around 2016-2017 they predict you will come across an IT Contractor or permie at a place where you work who will be calling herself or himself a Business Technologist.
This, it seems, will emphasise the fact that those in IT (or DP) will be more integrated with the business rather than being in a stand alone department and that they will have to merge both business skills and technology skills.
Much the Same
Don’t worry, though.
As with the guy we encountered, he or she is not likely to be doing anything very different from you. It is just the terminology that will have changed, I would think.
So, it is predicted that in a few years time you will be calling yourself a Business Technologist rather than an Information Technologist.
It happens very quickly. No one, when sending in their CV wants to be left calling her or himself by an outdated title.
I remember how quickly most programmers became Analyst / Programmers and then Developers.
So, they say, you will be in BT rather than IT in 2016-2017.
I can almost hear some of regular readers choking on their sandwiches.
Boost for BT
If it happens it will be a great boost to BT who already own the two letters and the site BT.com.
Now that BT are getting more into the software side and doing major projects for third parties, both in the UK and Internationally, perhaps they’ll consider changing their name from British Telecom to Business Technology.
What a commercial advantage that would give them.
I had thought that the next step would be to KT, i.e. to Knowledge Technology (and Knowledge technologists) as Knowledge was the next level up, supposedly, from Data and Information.
Beat the Crowd
However, Business Technology it seems it is to be, so perhaps some of you can be one step ahead of the crowd by putting Business Technologist on your CV.
Instead of being an IT Analyst you would be a BT Analyst. Instead of being an IT Developer you would be a BT Developer.
You just know that some smart-assed, young, go-ahead Project Leader is going to tell some agency at some point that he is looking for a Business Technologist and you know that agencies (none the wiser) will just do a word search for it on their CV database and immediately disqualify all those who simply work in Information Technology.
Time for Action
I’ll have to meet soon with other members of the ITContractor.com Board of Directors to see at what stage we change over from ITContractor.com to BTContractor.com.
After all, we don’t want to seem dated.
You would be well advised, as a contractor, to make your own plans in this area as well.
Don’t be caught out when the wind changes and the tide turns.
So, are you calling yourself a Business Technologist now?
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