Monday, March 19, 2007

How can information technology enhance your ability to make decisions at an organization?

If everything in an organization could be quantified and measured we could start the program and go home. But that's not how it is.

Once in a while a magazine (is it Fortune?) compares the return on investment of two teams of stock analysts. One team uses a lot of IT to decide which stocks to buy and sell while the people on the other team, blindfolded, throw darts at a board where each location a dart lands corresponds to a stock buy or sell. My recollection is that it is quite unpredictable which team will win.

Meanwhile in quantum physics, the more accurately you can identify the location of a particle, the less accurate is any measurement of its momentum.

IT readily supports any tendency to analysis paralysis.

IT works in the realm of objectivity but our creative lives will end if there is no subjectivity. No computer, presently at least, can identify the thoughts you are having and the emotions you are feeling as you read this answer and make a decision about it.

Undoubtedly IT has enhanced our ability to make certain kinds of decisions but it will be foolhardy to rely on it absolutely.

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