Is it better to use technology to replace a legacy system with something cheaper or should IT be used to refine a legacy system that has served its purpose for years? One of the primary reasons why IT fails to deliver its benefits is a communications breakdown. The IT industry definitely speaks a different language from the rest of humanity. Normal people might call a spade a spade, whereas an IT consultant might talk in terms of earth transportation capability enhancement paradigms.
One of the biggest departures in language and meaning is derived from the word ‘disruption’. To technology enthusiasts, ‘disruptive technology’ is exciting and its importance far outweighs whatever legacy it is about to replace. ‘Legacy’ is a dirty word for techie enthusiasts.
On the other hand, most people dread disruption. Having control over your own life removed from you (whether you’re at home or at work trying to log into your account) is one of the most stressful encounters you can experience, according to psychologists. If people have a time-honoured way of working and have perfected routines that they can perform quickly and efficiently, they tend not to appreciate the merits of ‘disruptive technology’. People rather like their legacies and their heritage.
It’s these differences of interpretation that are at the heart of a dispute in London between the city’s taxi drivers and a number of ‘disruptive’ technology-based systems that are intended to undercut them.