Why the Future of Corporate Success is in Business Technology

If you time travel into computing history, you may recall that data processing became management information systems which transformed again into information technology.

Everyone is an IT architect, analyst, or wizard of this or that.

Time has caught up with innovation. If you work in a company, you can no longer exist with old ways and old names.

The new name for information technology is business technology.

But don’t take my word for it; read this 2006 article on IT vs BT by president, CEO, and founder George “Forrester Research” Colony.

With the advent of the Web, there is now a wire from every company to every customer. Technology pervades most aspects of the business. Disagree with me? Do the scream test: Walk around your company and pull out all of the plugs from the wall. Take it all down. Then listen for the high-pitched wail from employees who can’t do their work — who can’t service customers, can’t sell, can’t develop, can’t collaborate. My bet is that your company will lose millions of dollars an hour without technology. If you’re like Goldman Sachs or Barclays Bank, you’ll lose hundreds of millions of dollars an hour.

So here’s the punch line: IT is no longer an appropriate term for the gear, the discipline of running the gear, or the industry. I propose that we replace it with the term “business technology,” or BT. This conveys the fact that business is technology and technology is business.

It gets better, folks. You can’t merely rename titles. You must also change the way you do business.

You must merge information technology (or business technology, if you’ve already shifted) with marketing. Create a new department, converging the technical wizards with the marketing gurus.

George spoke about this proposed merger earlier this year at a dinner for Chief Information Officers:

I’m a believer. Are you?