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It Doesn't Matter

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IT Doesn’t Matter

“IT Doesn’t Matter” is an article written by Nicolas G. Carr and published in the May 2003 edition of the Harvard Business Review. In this article Carr discusses why IT is no longer a strategic resource for companies and in light of this, how companies should now manage their IT. Carr’s argument that IT is no longer a strategic resource stems for his claim that IT has become ubiquitous and is no longer scarce. He does not deny that in its early stages of development, when IT resources were scare or rare, it was a strategic resource that companies could use to gain a competitive advantage. Carr goes on to explain that IT has become more affordable and thus is available for all companies to use. He claims that this makes IT less of a strategic resource and more a commodity. He compares IT’s transition from resource to commodity to that of the development of railway systems and electrical power. He references the fact that these now common commodities were once strategic resources that were used by companies to gain competitive advantages in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. Carr goes on to explain that no companies base their business strategy on using electrical power and thus business now should transition away from basing strategy on IT. Carr continues with his argument that IT doesn’t matter by describing how the biggest risk with IT is overspending on unnecessary resources, creating a cost disadvantage. Carr outlines three key philosophies that companies should employ to properly manage IT as a commodity rather than a strategic resource. First, companies should reduce IT spending by differentiating necessary and unnecessary expenditures and acting only on those that are necessary. Second, companies should not operate on the leading edge of technology. Rather, they should hang back and invest in resources that are proven out....

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