Magazine article Information Today

Letter to the Editor

Magazine article Information Today

Letter to the Editor

Article excerpt

A Consolidated Industry

I very much enjoyed [Dick Kaser's] "Thoughts on a Consolidated Industry" article [Information Today, February 2007]. It addresses something I've been concerned about for many years. Decades ago, when I was head of systems at the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), I would often end briefings by reminding all to remember our raison d'être, namely to meet the needs of our users (customers) as opposed to [doing] something we thought [met] their needs. One of the first decisions I made when I went to DTIC made the systems people mad because I assigned the leadership of the office automation project to the administrative staff because they better understood the needs.

Consolidation of the industry, as you point out, can lead to the distancing from understanding the needs of the using communities. Again, [this is] from my history. When I was in charge of buying computers for DLA, I had some representatives from a computer company visit me. They were from a unit whose responsibility was to purchase companies, whether computer oriented or not. …

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