As I'm finishing up my article on how IT staffs and managers can get the best use out of IT research and advice firms, I am coming up with one major piece of advice of my own for readers:
"Distinguish between research with an agenda and straightforward 'just the facts ma'am' research."
A corollary that won't make it into the article because I think it is so obvious is:
"Especially stay away from IT research and advice with an agenda unrelated to IT."
It must be because of the political conventions in the United States between Aug. 25 and Sept. 4, but I find myself reading such weird tie-ins everywhere in the last month. There are a lot of hidden and not-so-hidden political agendas on IT blog posts. Here is my take on a five-year-old article about technology that was republished last week.
I don't know why the Web site with the political agenda reprinted it because almost everything it predicted failed to happen. Still hoping, I guess.
I discussed one of the most obvious examples of an agenda unrelated to IT on ebizQ Sept. 5. It's about a guy who wants to equate political preferences with people's preference for software contractual terms. Another area to stay out of is the total politicization of the international standards process by leading IT firms.
One thing I have liked most about my 40 years wandering the U.S. and Europe for IT marketing purposes is that IT people and IT itself were apolitical. I mean that in a governmental sense, not in the sense of a good old bar brawl over UNIX vs. mainframes, running Unigraphics on DEC vs. Data General, or "you can't get fired for buying IBM." IT was also color blind, and open to both genders and all sexual preferences, although there are still not a statistically predictable number of women involved for some cultural reason I don't understand.
It didn't matter if you graduated from Harvard or dropped out of Cape Cod Community College as long as your code worked and didn't hog memory. In addition, IT was truly international, tolerant of all religions and often irreligious.
As I head down the back nine, I'm sorry to find that is changing dramatically. That cannot be good.