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Why Our Answer Is Always “It Depends…”



As IT professionals, does it seem like every time someone asks us a question, our answer is, “it depends”? While most technical questions have complicated answers and many variables can change the answer, is the answer always “it depends”?

I suspect that the answer is “yes” as well as “no”. When non-IT folks ask a question, they are typically looking for us to distill the information and give them a simple answer. Most of them don’t have the appetite for a complex, very technical answer. The downside of that approach is that many variables can come into play which would render our best answer incorrect. This makes our job of answering the question very difficult. Hence, “it depends” protects us and the business from an incorrect decision. That being said, it seems that maybe, just maybe, we’ve developed an overreliance on “it depends” to avoid having to try and explain a technical concept in plain English. This ability is rare.

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