The challenges of being an IT manager in the 1980s

A librarian at the National Library of Medicine (NLM) is using an IBM computer to access PDQ. The Physicians Data Query was designed by the National Cancer Institute to help physicians obtain information about the most up-to-date protocols, physicians, and clinics treating cancer patients. 1987

We have been very fortunate to obtain a large volume of papers from the Butler Cox Foundation – see here. The Foundation was hugely influential in the late 1970s and the 1980s in shaping opinion, especially within the senior management community.

Stephen Robertson is a post graduate student at Manchester University who reviewed some of the Foundation’s reports for us, thinking particularly about the tensions and challenges of the relationship between senior IT management and senior corporate management during the 1980s.  As Stephen says in his paper:

“Ultimately the Butler Cox Foundation reports provide an invaluable tool in understanding the changes and challenges of the 1980s. Looking forward to the present day, we can see how changes during this decade led towards the current work relationships and environment.”

Stephen’s full report can be found below or downloaded here. We are grateful to David Butler and Sir George Cox for talking to Stephen and helping him with his report.

We are also grateful to Dr Sam Blaxland for his review and edits of the paper.  It is with sadness that we add that David Butler died in July 2022.