Whether you love it or hate it, Microsoft PowerPoint — aka slides, deck, .ppt or PPT (which I prefer) — is arguably the de facto medium for communicating complex information using charts, graphics and bullet points. And we’ve all been the victims and perpetrators of PPT eye charts and spaghetti diagrams … this of course excludes Forrester analysts (wink).

But this over reliance on PPT is a rising cause for concern — not just from the good people of BOTOX® warning us about the wrinkle damage caused by squinting to read small text — but from our armed forces. In a recent article in The New York Times, Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the leader of American and NATO forces in Afghanistan, explained that PPT is “dangerous because it can create the illusion of understanding and the illusion of control.” He banned the presentations when securing the northern Iraqi city of Tal Afar in 2005, and even likened them to an internal threat. The most infamous of these “spaghetti” diagrams depicts the complexity of American strategy in Afghanistan, which General McChrystal remarked, “When we understand that slide, we’ll have won the war.”

So what does PPT have to do with making IT infrastructure and operations investments (I&O)? Everything. But in this case, the PPT I’m referring to is People, Process, and Technology – and excess is encouraged.

As the global economy recovers, pent-up business demand for new applications and new market initiatives will thrust IT infrastructure and operations (I&O) leaders and their teams into the heart of the business technology (BT) transformation. Why? Because all these business initiatives are ultimately enabled by I&O investments — from data center infrastructure and networks to PCs, mobile devices, and unified communications. To deliver on this vision on-time and on-budget, I&O professionals must give equal attention not only to the new technologies and services required — like cloud computing and client virtualization — but also to the people and processes that manage them.

How can Forrester help? If you or your team is available, we encourage you to attend Forrester's IT Forum 2010 on May 26-28.* And for I&O professionals, we have arranged the content of the I&O track sessions around this People, Process, and Technology theme: 

  • People sessions will help I&O professionals develop a skills competency benchmark (Rachel Dines), justify cloud investments (James Staten), and develop and manage an infrastructure negotiations playbook (Brad Day).
  • Process sessions will help I&O professionals assess the maturity of green IT within your organization (Doug Washburn), develop infrastructure efficiency KPIs (Andrew Reichman), build your cloud email migration plan (Chris Voce), and optimize service management with automation (Glenn O’Donnell).
  • Technology sessions will help I&O professionals evaluate the future of client virtualization (Ben Gray), mobile platforms (Ben Gray), and disruptive communications technology that will share the enterprise (Elizabeth Herrell).


We hope to see you there, but, if you can’t make it, look for insights live from the event on Forester’s I&O blog and on Twitter using the hash tag #ITF10.

*While the Early Bird rate for IT Forum expired April 9, call our Events Team at 617.613.5905 with discount code ITXBLG, and they'll extend the $200 discount if you haven’t already registered.