Intel's Barrett fires back in IT relevance debate

Intel Corp has joined the rising chorus of technology companies debunking the "IT Doesn't Matter" debate touched off by Nicholas Carr's article in the May issue of the Harvard Business Review.

With its recently published 2002 annual report titled: "Does technology really matter?," Intel executives offered investors a resounding but soft-spoken "Yes" in a lead-off letter to investors, but never mentioned Carr nor the offending article by name.

In a briefing with reporters here Thursday (May 15) held prior to Intel's annual get-together with analysts, Intel CEO Craig Barrett took clear aim and put a finer point on its rebuttal.

Referring to the current debate about IT's efficacy, and specifically to the HBR article which he said "best articulates the pseudo-populist theory," Barrett said Carr's suggestion that "IT is a commodity infrastructure like roads, the internal combustion engine and electricity, absolutely misses the point.

"All of those common infrastructures are infrastructural elements that allow you to make or move material; they don't allow you to put intellectual content or value into what you are doing."

IT, Barrettt rejoined, "is the vehicle to put value in what you are doing. Therefore, if you want to have a high standard of living, if you want to have a progressive economy and if you want to be competitive around the world, you either have that infrastructure or you don't. If you don't have it the jobs will go somewhere else, which is why I have said you have the possibility of a jobless recovery [in the U.S., western Europe and Japan] if you don't have that IT infrastructure upgrade."

News source: SiliconStrategies - Intel's Barrett fires back in IT relevance debate

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