This is a guest post with exclusive content by Bill Inmon. Bill “is an American computer scientist recognized by many as the father of the data warehouse. Inmon wrote the first book, held the first conference, wrote the first column in a magazine, and was the first to offer classes in data warehousing.” -Wikipedia.

The five critical considerations for corporate loyalty.

  1. There’s a disconnect between the IT department and the world of business for many organizations. 
  2. IT departments were very different when I first started my career. 
  3. The world of IT has changed dramatically since the early days.
  4. Initially, programmers and IT professionals were more invested in technology and data. 
  5. Corporate loyalty was probably the first factor critical to the disconnect and divorce between IT and business interests. 

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Recently, I visited a large telecommunications company. I was talking with their IT staff. I nearly fell out of my chair when one of the database designers said – “I didn’t know we had customers.”

The overarching problem here was that he wasn't joking. He honestly did not know that his company had customers. (True story, sadly enough.) 

Table of Contents

Where It All Began

In the early days of my IT career, many years ago, my company's IT department took great pride in understanding and being a part of the business. In truth, those early days were at the very beginning of IT and the introduction of computers to corporations.

We were taught that we work for a company XYZ. Your job was to increase the efficiency and profitability of that business. That direction and primary mission for IT professionals have since changed.

IT Departments Have Changed

Take a look at the world and the functionality of IT departments today. Most IT professionals don’t know the first thing about the workings of the business that the IT department is serving. In today's world, IT is in one league, and business is in another.

I believe there are many answers to this problem, as with most complex problems in life. However, I believe the most fundamental problem started years ago. Solutions like offer the best, most efficient, and scaleable solution to get back to that focus on customer data

What’s the Disconnect from The Early Days? 

Consider a programmer’s experience in 1970. The world did not have enough programmers back then, and the company had never had programming positions. A programmer's market value rose faster than what corporations were willing to pay for him.

A programmer could earn more money by working for another company than by waiting for a raise from their own company. Even when the programmer got the annual pay raise, it was not enough to bring it up to marketplace value.

Why Was Marketplace Value Important?

For the programmer, finding another job elsewhere was much easier and more expedient. So, programmers and technicians were loyal to early technologies, such as IMS, CICS, TOTAL, IDMS, etc., rather than their employers. Programmers were more invested in their knowledge of technology than in the company's business.

Undoubtedly, many other factors beyond corporate loyalty led to the schism. But corporate loyalty was probably the first critical factor in the disconnect between IT and the business.

How to Reconnect IT and Business 

If your business hasn’t already begun its digital transformation, you should at least be discussing the direction you need to take. Already, you see some 2.5 quintillion bytes of data generated every day, with 70% of that being user generated. How you respond and how you prepare yourself and your business will make all the difference in the world between how you succeed (or fail). 

Here are just a few of the solutions that will support your digital transformation as you begin to reconnect your IT and business interests. 

  • A new ETL platform
  • A very fast CDC platform
  • Reverse ETL capability
  • Deep e-commerce capability

Cloud-based ETL solutions, like, allow you to quickly and easily extract, transform and load your data even if you're not a programming expert. So you can mitigate and address compliance concerns. 

About Bill Inmon

Bill Inmon, the father of the data warehouse, has authored 65 books and was named by Computerworld as one of the ten most influential people in the history of computing. Bill’s company, Forest Rim Technology, is a Castle Rock, Colorado company. Bill Inmon and Forest Rim Technology provide a service to help companies hear the voice of their customer. See more at