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back to article What does people-centric IT mean, anyway?

People-centric visions of IT need to be broad-ranging, says Danny Bradbury. Now, don't bother him while he's trying to play Call of Duty: Ghosts. Satya Nadella has news for IT users: it's all about you. Microsoft's new CEO is touting a concept that he calls "people-centric IT". He wants to create an environment where "the end …

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Same old same old

Microsoft - at the forefront of delivering world class secure computing environments since 197x

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Same old same old

not to mention standards compliant, compatible, usable, and what users' want!

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Er, what?

> But he also wants his system to know that he has his tablet with him

Which means either that tablet must be switched on and actively telling the network that it is where he is OR he must have actively told the network that he has his tablet with him and by the same token must actively tell the network when he does not have his tablet with him.

So either user-annoyance and nagging or permanent powerdrain.

This bloke's an idiot.

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Windows

People-centric IT

MS version:-

Round up all the users in the centre of a field and put a big chain around them.

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Do this if you want to destroy IT

> "You have to let the user work in the way that they want." ... while unifying their environment

How does that work - exactly?

You can work the way you want to, as long as you use a "unified" environment. That sounds to me a lot like You can have any colour you want, so long as it's black.

Personally I have always considered standards to be a good thing (so long as they are sensible ones). So we have standard sizes for paper, at standard length*width ratios (in almost every country, except for a few "outliers") - so that you don't need to buy "HP" sized paper to fit in their, and only their, printers. We have standards for petrol, so that a Ford car will run on any brand - and we have standards for I.T. so that someone can fill your job while you're off sick, or in the slim chance you get promoted (hint: never make yourself indispensable: people that a company can't do without can't be promoted) or find a better job.

So to have every worker doing things their own way is the shortcut to chaos. Even if they do decide to document it, then "doing it their own way" doesn't even mean the documentation has to be in your national language - or Klingon.

Apart from the basic mistakes in the thinking, this piece of inspiration from Microsoft just sounds like a collection of marketing phrases and management b/s mixed together in an attempt to convince people who should know better, that following this path will get them a better, happier and more efficient IT implementation - and workers who feel enabled and valued (and since it's always and only ever about money - willing to work for less, too). Right up, that is, until the time when you get someone else's "done their own way" work to pick up and support.

It'll all end in tears,

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Re: Do this if you want to destroy IT

It means, if they want Dropbox, you give them SharePoint. If they want GMail, you give them an Exchange account. If they want to use the iPhone, they can, but you reserve the right to nuke it from space without warning.

The biggest problem with BYOD and BYOS (services) is the legal aspects, especially in Europe, where data protection means that if you copy your Exchange contacts to a non-company phone, you are probably in breach of the law... Let alone putting general corporate data on a non-corporate device.

I hope you have spoken to your lawyers, before you let the users have a free-for-all.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Do this if you want to destroy IT

If that's the way Microsoft operate, then it's no wonder they're failing so spectacularly!

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Re: Do this if you want to destroy IT

"...If that's the way Microsoft operate..."

Have you THOUGHT about it beyond gleefully bashing Microsoft?

Imagine you're an IT guy told to allow BYOD but to make it secure. You realise you can't, unless you're allowed to enforce *some* policy on the devices. So you allow BYOD, as long as your employees agree to resetting their iPads and Nexuseses (Nexi?) to factory spec + your policy.

Of course your employees can agree to this state of affairs ...or not. If not, you cannot reap the benefits (reduced cost) of BYOD.

How do YOU think this should operate?

My suggestion? Don't allow unstructured corporate data (documents, spreadsheets, presentations) onto any cloud or BYOD service or device. Structured data (database data) is allowed, but only through a corp-sanctioned (or developed) app. Email is allowed, but PIN + remote wipe policy is enforced. BYOD allows unrestricted Internet access, but taboo on corp-net.

Corp-net services are accessed through DirectAccess (VPN) or LAN using a corp-provisioned device. If you're important enough, you get a laptop. If not, you get a desktop.

If you want to do a better job of security than the NHS, MOD, Sony or Walmart, make judicious use of X509, F5 BigIP, TMG and so on and so forth. Oh, and don't rely on TLS. Supplement TLS with stuff like VPN. If you MUST allow remote access into SharePoint or something, don't expose corp-net credentials. Set up another AD in the DMZ and federate into corp-net. Don't use Google, and don't use Heroku, Azure, AWS or Office365.

Unless you're a hipster startup with 20-something pimply-faced kids, in which case simply swap out all the "don't"s with "do"s.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Do this if you want to destroy IT

Have you THOUGHT about it beyond gleefully bashing Microsoft?

Yes. In fact, I hardly bash MS. I have an MSDN sub and a SurfacePro. Some have accused me of being a fanboy.

Imagine you're an IT guy told to allow BYOD but to make it secure

So you secure the network, not the client - especially when they are personal devices.

Otherwise this is just a way of saying "only MS devices on our network"

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Re: Do this if you want to destroy IT

Securing the network is not enough. Ever heard of the concept of defence in depth? You need to secure the network for sure, but also every resource on that network. And that includes devices, not just service endpoints or file shares.

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Re: Do this if you want to destroy IT

But with BYOD the devices are generally portable, so can leave the corporate network. Locking down the corporate network isn't going to bring any security advantage, if the user works on their device, then takes it, along with your corporate data, home and lets his son play around with it and post all your corporate secrets accidentally on Facebook...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Do this if you want to destroy IT

Corporate data on a personal device is an oxymoron.

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WTF?

Dateline: Redmond, WA

It was reported today that Microsoft has discovered that PEOPLE are the users of Information Technology (IT), and that after this earth shattering discovery, they will now be changing their business model to concentrate on this new found resource.

Check back here often for more on this major story.

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Pirate

"Users should be able to register their own devices, and access company resources consistently across them, it says."

Um... No. You asked 7 years ago when you got your first iPhone, and the answer was "no" then and it's still "no" today.

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Nya

Velvet glove?! Bollocks to that! You go buy the latest shiny, you ain't getting to use company files on it!

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Windows

If that ever happens, then I'll...

Microsoft's new CEO is touting a concept that he calls "people-centric IT". He wants to create an environment where "the end user gets the experience they want and IT gets the control that they want".

If that ever happens, then I'll deliberately pee my pants in public! Alternatively, I'll be so old I won't be able to avoid doing so.

So Microsoft is trying to balance the need for a better user experience with the need for IT control.

Ahhhh! There's the rub! Now I know I'll be pretty damn safe from embarrassment for a bloody long time! Tailoring Windows to one's actual needs will likely become even more complex and problematic, methinks.

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Joke

People-centric IT?

And there I was thinking IT solutions were designed for semi-evolved simians.

Or nematode worms.

Darn, need to redesign my UI

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Anonymous Coward

WTF??

Have they heard themselves? Do they honestly believe their own bullshit?

"people-centric"? That sounds ten times creepier than Google's data gathering.

So where are these hoards of people demanding this crap? Have they taken Steve Jobs's advice on LSD, or something?

Just another buzzword for the bingo cards. Nadella's another bullshitter like the rest of them.. a random keyword generator.

People just want their computers (which is a tool) to just work properly, not become integrated with their pathetic lives!

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FAIL

It's been a while since I've read that much drivel!

So Microsoft has missed the boat on so many "paradigms", they're trying to create their own?

Microsoft has been in this industry for longer than most, it has more resources, and probably the largest user-base, yet they're unable to create a compelling product. What's their fucking problem??

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Anonymous Coward

"people-centric IT"

BINGO!

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Paris Hilton

Maybe it is a relativity thing?

People-centric rather than geek-centric or nerd-centric seems a reasonable interpretation no?

But what be a new paradigm (oops, sorry) is that IT is now nearer the point of not trying to emulate older working methods?

For example device to device without necessary hardcopy inbetween, images to devices and sharing without FAFF with all means to edit then publish on even the smallest device.

Whatever the take the democratisation (sorry) of IT and comms continues apace and avast fast.

Publish is a whole new paradigm

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I thought disruptive new paradigms was the new paradigm?

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Anonymous Coward

Are we done with leveraging the paradigms, now?

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So, laughing boy says ""the end user gets the experience they want".

I want you to take Windows 8, roll it up and shove it right up your arse. I never, ever, ever, want to see it again.

Now that would be an experience.

Windows 8 gives me NOTHING I want.

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I want you to rest assured that Microsoft is dedicated to excellence, and is on the runway to proactively leverage its noncurrent assets to ensure that you, the rear-end user, calibrate your expectations so you can be empowered by the holistic experience of Windows 9. I mean 8.

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It has been said many times...

Ah, I wanted to write something funny about MS and people-centric IT, but this forum is already full of it.

So it's easy, MS: nobody will ever buy that from you. Seems you will need to think of another hype, this one is already a nonstarter.

/Zane

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Anonymous Coward

Insert corporate-market-speak waffle ..

"Microsoft is trying to balance the need for a better user experience with the need for IT control."

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Coat

Its english Jim

But not as you know it.

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Wait, are we playing that drinking game again?

Because if I'm going to take a shot every time I hear a marketing buzzword here, I'm going to have to eat something really fatty and filling first.

EDIT: Spaghetti bolognese. OK, I'm set.

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Pint

Marketing Windows 9x

When Ms asks a question it is usually because they have the answer and are prepared to wait until someone accidentally stumbles upon it by accident.

Oh, yes, the answer paradigm is Windows 8.x 9.x?

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Anonymous Coward

About face

"the end user gets the experience they want"

Good luck with that. Given just the most recent example of Win 8, that particular cultural change at MS will involve a sharp and probably very painful 180 degree turn.

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All these comments suggesting its all what IT wants vs what the user wants, nothing in there about the needs of the business?

I still don't get this recent idea that all users of a company system should be treated like individual customers, as though their desires were the most important aspect. Surely the company as a whole is the customer, so what that needs from an IT system should be the priority? In many jobs there are restrictive requirements that may not suit all individual employees but you never hear of suggestions that say, the building trade needs to find ways of letting people work in nice clothing without it getting ruined, or that food manufacturers should find ways of letting their workers not have to wear overalls & hairnets, or that people working in the nuclear industry "prefer" not to have to take all the necessary precautions.

I do a job, I expect the employer to supply me with the appropriate tools for doing that particular job. If it isn't to my personal preference then sad, if I worked in a uniformed field then I'd have to wear the specified uniform & not choose whatever colour or cut that I happened to like.

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