Communications at the Speed of Clay

One of my Web 'Blogs' has either been hacked or the domain has been hijacked. But can I tell anyone about the problem here at Blogger.Com? Of course not.

I've been comparing notes with a friend today. He's also been in IT longer than we both care to remember and we both agree that communication isn't what it used to be.

It's official then, the average speed of London traffic is under 20 mph and email is even slower at two replies per month. I'm not joking. It's increasingly harder to do business with anyone these days. Email exchanges can take weeks and decisions months in gestation. People everywhere are seemingly hiding behind their voice mail and their email and I really couldn't tell you what they're doing anymore.

You see, as my friend points out, IT used to be an industry where success was a factor under the control of market forces. It didn't matter too much if you weren't very good at your job because the world wanted to buy your hardware or your software and double digit growth shielded the under-performers or the inept. Today, its a different story. Growth is barely above 5% in most sectors and people everywhere appear to have 'Dug-in' behind their voicemail until the storm is over.

Decisions, you see are risky. You make the wrong one and you might lose your job and so perhaps it's better to keep rearranging the paper on your desk until such a time as the world becomes a friendlier place.

Am I cynical? You're damn right I am and I'm not alone either. After twenty years in this business I have to admit that I have never seen technology used so effectively as a barrier, preventing communications and business development rather than facilitating it. It's a modern sickness, much like the canker of political correctness. The more communications bandwidth available to a business, the more difficult communications becomes. As resistance grows at the square of demand, there comes a point when comunications of any kind ceases altogether and your'e left with something that looks much like local government.

Don't try sending me an email. I'm 'Out of Office' until further notice or at least until business comes to its senses.


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