Wednesday, May 31, 2006

IT Trends

EDS Fellow Kas Kasravi wants to identify the top three IT trends. An initial survey produces a 'shortlist' of over fifty. So he does what many clever IT people do easy as breathing - lumps them together to produce three highly generalized trends: Visibility, Automation and Simplification. [See Wikipedia article on Lumpers and Splitters.]

Not content with that, he proceeds to formulate three laws: the Law of Visibility, the Law of Automation, and the Law of Simplification. He seems to be playing with the tension between the second law (which promotes complexity) and the third law (which promotes simplicity).

Read his entire post: IT Trend Laws.

The trouble I have with this manoeuvre is that the IT trends cease to be empirically grounded descriptions of what is actually going on in IT, and become armchair theories derived from some abstract understanding of the timeless essence of IT. Is it always a good thing to give people the wisdom of the hedgehog when they are paying for the knowledge of the fox? [See Kheper article on the Fox and the Hedgehog.]

And why is it better to have three trends rather than fifty? Let a hundred flowers bloom!

[Update] I see from the EDS website that one of the responsibilities of an EDS fellow is to provide vision and perspective on emerging trends. But if there are only three unchanging trends, perhaps EDS doesn't need so many fellows after all. Let's hope Kas isn't talking himself out of a job.

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