245 posts • joined Wednesday 4th July 2012 15:29 GMT
"Have you ever tried to understand why IT or Management might take that approach " - I am an IT Manager. I have been for over 15 years.
I can tell you from experience that there are a lot of people that will move on and I say that having already seen some examples. Agreed, many of these are the younger generation now entering the workplace; unlike the older generations (of which I am one) they simply will not stand for working in a way that doesn't meet their preferred method of working. Even if they start, they will move on very quickly and the company will spend more time and resources just trying to recruit replacements.
Senior (C-Level) managers were totally against the idea of BYOD; until they saw a man in the pub that can do something on his shiny toy and then they all wanted the same. They then all became converts overnight and started preaching the "Word according to Jobs". You can put up road blocks to prevent it, but at some point, they will just brush you aside; at which point you lose all credibility.
And I will say again that my views were very similar to yours; but things change and we have to change with them. Those that are prepared to adapt to the changes will find that the process is easier; those that refuse to change will suddenly find that they are being forced to change and that is when it gets very painful.
At first, I was like a lot of people, thinking that this was a pile of pants. However....
Even though it was agreed that we would not be using BYOD, the reality is that a lot of staff and managers are doing exactly that. IT don't officially support these; but it's surprising how often we end up fixing stuff. And where we don't do this, the staff get support from amongst themselves.
This causes a major problem; staff start doing stuff like keeping their expenses on their phones and then expecting the internal systems to allow them to synch the data. Great when they are all using different apps to do the work.
Some IT people (and business managers) take the view that staff will have to accept the company view or go elsewhere; guess what, they will move on. At some stage, management will realise that they can't get the staff and will change their view; and at that point, there will be a godawful panic to implement BYOD in a couple of days.
Over the past decade, I've been involved in a number of new office builds. In each case, the architects are clearly working to standards that were set back in the 70s.
For each project that I've been on, I've insisted that they supply a minum of 2 double sockets per desk, along with a triple network point; and then an extra pair of double sockets at any point where they might think of putting a desk at a later stage.
It's always easier to put them in at the beginning than trying to add them later; and it is a lot cheaper too.
Re: 'data' != valuable
You've hit a very important nail squarely on the head. The world may well be producing gazillions of bytes of data, but how much of that is actually of any real value to more than the person that created it. More importantly, how to separate the wheat from the chaff; if it's of no value or will never be used again, why spend billions on storing and manipulation?
You say tomato, I say tomato
I've a feeling that the origin of the soft g was in the USA; I worked with some people back in the late 90's that had been over there and they brought the pronuciation back with them. Those of us stay at homes used the hard g.
Personally, I don't care which they use; I'm not even bothered by the way that some people say "dah - tah" instead of "day-ta". But for some reason, I get really wound up by those that pronounce "dissect" as if it had only one s (you bi-sect a circle, you dis-sect a corpse)
Really 18 months?
Perhaps we should have one to indicate the passing of time (Dinosaur?)
Definitely need a new one for all the political debates - crossed pitchfork and flaming torch?
How about one "the end of the world as we know it" - suitable for any new release of software, iDevice, Daily Fail readers etc.
Don't forget the "Brussels beurocrats "
Re: what do you expect them to do
"You can't tax sales, that's ridiculous"
VAT - no matter what you call it, it is a tax on sales. (Admittedly, one that the customer pays). Note that each of the companies will have paid VAT which is (probably) not included in the figures given to the MPs.
There is a manual published each year in the UK that provides information on the tax laws. This book has more than doubled in size over the past decade; because the number of laws relating to tax has increased. They try to close one loophole off; and before the legistlation has even passed, people are working out how they can use the new laws to avoid paying tax.
Essentially, instead of passing new laws, they need to go back through the existing legislation to remove the stuff that creates the loopholes in the first place; but as that is actually much harder, they just make new laws that exacerbate the problem.
The future of warfare
>>Assuming, of course, drones don't put them all out of work in the near future<<
This has been a suggestion ever since the development of weapons. Every new development is the one that is going to stop warfare for ever. It happened with spears, with chariots, with cannon and rifles.
But the reality is that you will always need the hairy arsed individuals that are prepared to climb to the top of the hill and hold it against all comers. (My interpretation of "The Art of War" by Sun Tzu)
15 million merits
Anyone see the short series "Black Mirror"? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Mirror_(TV_series)
The episode "15 million merits" showed a brief glimpse of what might be in store. If you have the credit, you can wave the adverts aside and just watch what you want. If you don't have the credit you have to watch the adverts; and even closing your eyes is detected and as a penalty, the advert break is doubled.
I suspect that we may also start to see scrolling banners across the top / bottom or on the sides of the screen. Possibly a return to the "sponsorship" model of the past. E.g. Coronation Street sponsored by Gala Bingo etc. An increased amount of "product placement".
Personally, I have very little interst in most of the programmes produced so could see me doing without a TV.
>>'You won't get any help from us'<<
So no change there then.
I don't like to see any business go under; it reduces competition & choice, leaves a number of people without jobs; and we all lose a bit because of this.
But it's sometimes difficult to be sympathetic when people bring these things on themselves by poor management, bad business decisions and a failure to adapt to changing conditions. Comet service may not have been quite as bad as Dixons / PC World, but hasn't been good for sometime.
All of the staff that I came across in the last 10 years were very poorly trained; on one occasion, I had to show a guy how to complete a transaction on their till system because he got himself stuck. They had limited knowledge of their products and often gave very poor advice.
I started in retail at the start of the "Pile it high, sell it cheap" concept; I was just leaving when the box shifters realised that customers were beginning to expect more. Comet never got on board with that; neither have some of the others. The end result was / is inevitable.
After all, what could possibly go wrong?
Article from El Reg of 3rd Sept
For reference; SouthWest One also promised lots of savings, efficiencies, better services. None have been delivered and the council tax payer has to foot the bill (and will do so for about the 10-15 years).
Welcome to the world of 1984
I'm convinced that it's not the actually politicans; most of them are just too insular to even consider most of the stupid ideas that they seem to come up with.
For some time, I have been of the opinion that all of these ideas are actually being pimped by a group of the senior mandarins in Whitehall. I'm still not sure if they are originating these plans or if lobbying groups are persuading them to put the plans before the political masters. Because the civil servants don't change when the politiicans change, they just wait a bit and then put forward the same bloody stupid ideas.
Perhaps it is time for a root and branch clear out of the whole damn system; clearly, we can no longer trust any of them any longer.
I think that we need to have a pitchfork and flaming branch icon. Big Brother will have to do for now
Just remember this
You and I are paying for this legal case - both for the prosecution and for the defence. You are paying for all of the lawyers, all of the police time, all of the time that the various politicians have spent on it.
Just wondering if anyone thinks that this is money well spent?
I'm in a situation I shouldn't be in; I had some nagging doubts about the job when the hiring manager wasn't available for the interview and had a couple of his staff do it. However, after having checked a load of details it did seem that I was being unfair.
Boy, was that a wrong assumption.
Now I have to say that I am being paid and they are also covering my expenses. But the reality is that what I was told the job involved has proven to be complete bollocks.
I am sat twiddling my thumbs as I have no authority and I spend most of my week looking at server logs to make it look as if I am actually doing some work. I was told that I would have staff; no. I was told that I would be able to make significant changes; no. I was told that their IT was shit and needed to be dragged into the 21st century; that's true, but I'm not allowed to make any changes.
I'm seriously frustrated and now it appears that because they have had a bad year for sales, they will be laying people off. I haven't been told yet, but will probably get the info at the end of the month.
The moral of this tale; trust your gut feelings. If something doesn't seem right, then it probably isn't
This may seem bizarre ...
... but is quite common within the public sector. Someone negotiates a deal for a really good price without actually knowing what they need or what for.
They can't sell them as they will end up losing money and will then get criticised for wasting public money. They can't give them away for the same reason. You'd think that they could just give them some schools, but that would cause a fuss with those schools that don't get any. They could then try to charge the schools; but the schools will probably refuse if it comes out of their budgets as they would rather have new equipment and don't want anyone's cast offs.
They are buggered whatever they do. Welcome to the world of the modern civil service
(disclaimer: I don't work in the public sector although I was a school governor for a long time and had far too many dealings with LEA and othrr LGA.)
Re: Comprehension Failure
SAP AG is one of the worlds largest providers of ERP software - the name SAP is used for their software.
Would you expect the journalist to tell you that IBM stands for "International Business Machines"? If you work in the IT industry and read an IT news site, it's not unreasonable to expect that you would have heard of SAP and their software (if you haven't used it, you are one of the lucky ones) or if you haven't, to be able to do some quick research that will give you more.
Getting the staff: - there are a lot more people trained in the various aspects of SAP. That doesn't mean that they are any good; in fact I've seen a lot of consultants that were less than satisfactory. However, I would accept that the odds of getting at least a few of the better people are higher.
Real-time: - the SAP system can be real-time for their own transactions, but it will still effectively use batch transfers when moving information to other systems. So not really the benefit that that they hope for there. As for anomalies, they will only be caught if the system is programmed to do so.
Flexibility: - (quietly snorts laughing). SAP is not the most flexible of systems unless you have been drinking the SAP kool-aid, in which case you will believe anything. As recent reports show, SAP licencing can also be horrendously expensive and support costs can get totally out of hand. As for scaling up and down; presumably that menas they will rely on the IBM datacentres; they will scale up but I've never yet seen them scale down.
Insights: - Remember the old saying "Garbage In, Garbage Out". This still applies in this case, and the "Business Insights" will only be of any benefit if they have the right people to identify the requirements, design the structure, apply the changes and analyse the output. I've seen some really good output information and I've also seen some stuff produced on a daily basis for years that no-one was ever able to understand.
The biggest issue is the outsourcing; I don't wish to sound as if I am putting the out sourced staff in India down, but in most cases they have limited expertise. They have a culture of moving on after a very short period of time (months rather than years) and never really gain the knowledge that would allow them to be as effective as they should be. Add to that, many of them seem to have gained their knowledge through training facilties that are not approved by SAP.
I don't use Nationwide; and I might think twice about doing so for at least a few years until they get the bugs out of their systems.
(For reference, I've used SAP over the last 5 years on several projects and undertaken a number of certs. It can be made to work, but that is entirely down to the quality of the implementation team.)
They need a new robot
Sir Killalot was available! Perhaps they should use that as a template to build a few more.
(BTW, they should bring back Robot Wars; that's how to encourage people in STEM)
Re: Firing 100 staff to save £100m?
I thought the same at first; but the article does indicate that the IT changes are part of the overall plan and not just the only part.
The problem is of course that even if you get rid of 100 people at an average of say £55k per year (including employment costs, admin, offices etc.) and replace with someone overseas, their costs (including the extra comms costs) will perhaps be half of that; but as many people find, the quality of service nose dives. This then causes issues down the line and the end result is wasted time, possibly loss of customers.
But the main problem is that most businesses now are focussing purely on short term savings; long term planning went out of the window a while ago. They call this "strategy"; (I'm not sure that I would agree, but there you go).
Re: There's no excuse for IT to bypass UPS issues.
IT don't control the UPS systems where I am working. It's been given to the Site services team (eg. electricians).
So at the present, there are two water sprinklers from the fire control system in the server room; one above the industrial sized UPS, one above the mainframe sized telephone system. (I asked if the water was active and got a blank look; I still don't know)
The power input cables need to be replaced as they were under specced; it's been highlighted for 2 years and there have been 2 separate occasions in the past 4 months when they were going to replace them; but the wrong stuff delivered so project put on hold.
Add to that, there are 5 racks around the factory with UPS protecting them; 3 of these have flashing red lights indicating a fault. These have been showing the same fault since I have been here. I'm told that a request for replacement batteries was submitted and they are waiting for details of when this will happen.
I'm not saying that Graham is wrong; it is just down to the individuals concerned. Some do a good job, some don't; that is a fact of life. IT staff are generally no better and no worse than any others.
I've seen the Violin hardware in action and it is a really impressive offering. I would think that this company will do well; if I were able to buy up stock, I probably would as I think that they have a lot of untapped potential.
To make the femtocell work, you have to have a fairly reliable broadband connection. If you are on the arse end of the line from an exchange that was installed pre-1950 with the original cable (like me) then the chance of making anything like this function are zero.
The best bit is that BT flatly refuse to accept that there is an issue; even though the entire area is now fubar. (They don't want to have to replace the cable) I could switch to another supplier; but as they would have to use the cable supplied by OpenReach and that is now rotting away, there is no chance that they would do any better. All that would happen is I call them, they call BT, BT ignores them and I get even more frustrated.
Tried to cancel the account; BT are putting up all sorts of hurdles. A formal letter has now gone off to them and a letter of complaint to OfCOM. I doubt that it will make slightest difference, but it felt bloody good just to vent my anger.
Shut-up And Pay
Can I suggest that one of the reasons why SAP are so reluctant to publically reveal these things is that not everyone is paying the same price; and there would be a lot of very unhappy people when they realise that they are paying hundreds of dollars per user more than other businesses.
As for open source systems; they will often work for smaller businesses. However, once you start talking about multi site, multi country operations with 10s of thousands of employees, you are in a whole new area and many of those FOSS / FLOSS systems are just not up to the job.
Developing internally is not a bad option, but you have to have the right people that can identify the real requirements and then have skilled programmers that can do the job right. There are a lot of people out there that think they can do it; I know from experience, that there are an aweful lot who are nowhere near as good as they think they are.
When you buy SAP, you have committed a lot of money and resources to the project. That's why so many are reluctant to jump ship; they are scared that they will end up wasting more than they gain. SAP know this and that is why they will keep squeezing the customer's teats to get those last little drops.
"Jay" thinks that it is in th epublic interest to post a list of farmers details (who may or may not be thinking about culling) but feels that it is not in the interest of the public to know his details.
As it happens, I am not in favour of the cull; I believe that vaccination should have been considered and that various civil servants / government departments / ministers have simply tried to ignore the problem.
I wouldn't support the anti-culling movemnet; most of them are basing their views on sentimentality rather than the practical issues; and I would bet most of them are townies who think that the countryside is just a big playground.
Why is anyone surprised by this?
It does seem that the only people that were surprised, were the senior staff at BT that only wanted to try to sell services that they knew little about instead of concentrating on their core business.
It appears that we received no further transmission from the moon because Mr Cavor was successful in reproducing his amazing discovery and decided to head on out further into the solar system!
I'm working at a place where the corporate decision was to use McAfee - and added to that, they are using an intrusion prevention software (on each host). The amount of time that is wasted every day because of the poor system performance amounts to about 30 hours just for the one site just on startup every morning.
I stopped using it at my last place 5 years ago - and it's not got any better in the mean time, if anything it seem to be worse. Truly awful product.
I would so love to do this
Did some jumping in my salad days; nothing from that height though.
I remember watching the film made from Col. Kittinger's jump back in '60 and thinking that I wanted to break his record. Never had the chance, but wish Felix all the best for his attempt.
I did hear a story that someone was going to put a small sign on the exit gate - "Mind the step"!
Re: Yet, still the UK refuses to look at Thorium
Call me crazy, but I believe that the reason we don't have more politicians interested in Thorium powered stations is because they have one drawback; they don't produce weapons grade fissionable material.
A lot of Fleming's work was inspired by his own experiences during the Second World War. There are a lot of stories that have never been revealed for one reason or another; the activities of SOE are examples of this.
The truth can often be stranger than fiction.
Re: There aren't any
There was a TV programme about it a short while ago (BBC 3 / 4 ?) and they had a couple of engineering experts examining the mechanism to recreate the various parts. They were able to make most parts really quickly; some took less than an hour.
Most of these would also have been fairly easy to make by the standard of skills of the time; the big issue was that people producing the parts needed to understand the mathematics of the calculations behind the movements of the planets that were required for construction. There would only have been a few such people capable of this.
Add to that, it would only have been the aristocracy / theocracy that would have allowed the construction. Quite probably, they would have ordered a few to be made by one person and these may possibly have been shipped together. (But probably not)
We can be an awesomely inventive species when we choose; it's a shame that we so often turn that talent to finding ways to hurt other people in new and exciting ways.
This is not a drill!
A drill goes;
You youngsters don't know nuthin'
There were times when rock stars used to trash hotel rooms, throw TVs out of windows, get busted for posession of class A drugs, get caught naked in a swimming pool with half a dozen under age groupies, and still do a 2 hour gig whilst pissed out of their minds from a couple of bottles of the local firewater.
Damn, I'm turning into my grandfather!
Only two things in this life are certain.
Death and taxes.
Two people that won't be missed?
"Both Capita ITS chief exec Mark Quartermaine and his number two Russ Hewitt – who were known to be steering the cost-cutting programme which included the offshoring plans – have left the firm in recent months."
Currently working with one of the other large out sourcing firms. An end user came in this morning because his mouse wasn't working; the connecting cable was damaged. It appears that we don't keep spare mice (it's "not allowed"); the end users have to order these through the help desk system which takes on average 10 - 20 days to be processed and delivered.
I used to get these in blocks of 10 at around 95p each, added to a purchase order when we started to get low on stock. The end user departments here are being charged £4.50 for each mouse. That doesn't include the admin costs; I've no idea what that would be, but it isn't going to be cheap. Add to that, the end user has to make do (i.e. nick someone else's) for up to 3 weeks.
Outsourcing; it really is not as efficient or as cost effective as most senior managers think.
It's already been named
They have already provided names up to 119. It was decided that they should not allow any personal or political affiliation naming in future (boo, hiss).
For reference, it is called Ununtrium (114 = Ununquadrium, 115 = Ununquintrium, 116 Ununhexium, 117 = Ununseptium, 118 = Ununoctrium, 119 = Ununontrium - from memory, which I have already proved today is failing.)
Not quite sure how they will fit it into Tom Lehrer's party piece. (http://www.rod.beavon.clara.net/lehrer_elements.htm)
Re: What is the
My mistake on the missing IF statement <8-)
My only excuse is that I am an old fart and I've lost my reading glasses; I am currently viewing this screen from about 8 inches away (20 centimetres in modern money!)
No, not everything has to be perfect; in fact it's surprising how much people can understand even when English is not the first language or when the pronunciation is poor. Generally, you can understand the meaning of something if only 30% of the actual words can be heard / read.
However, this does lead to some potential problems when meanings of words change - if I say that someone is sick, they are unwell. My niece who watches too much American television thinks that it means they are highly attractive (apparently)
Lusty, wait until you have teenage children, who communicate only in monosyllabic grunts. Then you too will long for the days when people enunciated clearly, used words that hadn't changed their meaning in the last decade, and spoke in sentences that were composed in a way to clearly communicate the concepts.
Jimmy Edwards because I grew up in the days when teachers did wear robes and mortar boards - and the pupils had a certain level of respect for them.
Re: What is the
"This is perfectly ok use of language and we see it on TV all the time, especially from polititians [sic]"
Do you mean "This use of language is perfectly OK as it is used on television and by politicians"?
Because it is not correct, even it is on television.
"vast majority of the yokels use mobile phones in preference to a fixed line"
You assume that you can get a signal for a mobile in the country. Possibly in such rural areas as Berkshire or Essex, but not everywhere is that fortunate. Where I used to live, the coverage was not that good for any of the networks - and I'm talking GPRS. 3G was only ever something that marketing people would promise without ever having any intention of delivering.
I'm betting that if some of the people moaning about preference being given to rural areas had to put up with some of the crappy service that we have to deal with, they might be singing a different tune.
Re: Move House
"on average people who live in villages in this country are richer than the people who live in towns."
Wow, you really do need to get out there and see the real world. But hey; why bother finding out facts when you're more comfortable with your own misconceptions.
Re: Move House
Tim, the question is, how do you define "The Country"?
There is a tendancy for those that live in the smoke to see everything north of Watford, west of Reading, or south of Croydon as being "in the country". There are some quite substantial housing areas just on the edge of quite major towns; would you define those as being in the country? I'm currently lodging in an area in Gloucestershire that I would certainly not define as being "in the country" (pop: 30,000), but the broadband provision is quite simply pathetic.
As for most of them being middle class - please do wake up and pay attention. Most people outside of London do not live on large country estates being waited on by a staff of servants.
BTW, I'm actually in the process of moving from deep in the country (village of 584). I can't sell the house, because most people in the county can't get a mortgage; my neighbour has been trying to sell his house since the death of his wife 4 years ago. House sales have almost collapsed; most estate agents are surviving on one sale per week, where 5-6 years ago, they would have been selling 12 - 15 properties per week. We have 4 of the 5 most expensive areas in the UK in terms of the ratio of average price to average earnings.
"In a speech that demonstrated scarcely any understanding of what a data centre is or does, "
Does anyone seriously expect any politician to know what anything does? All they care about is the opportunity for more face time on the media showing that they are associated to things that sound like they might be of benefit to potential voters.
.. I would suggest that what would most probably happen is that the EU will publish standards, the UK gov will rewrite those and then enforce a more strict interpretation, whilst the rest of Europe makes a rude gesture based upon their individual cultural past and completely ignores any such standards.
Feeling really grumpy today
Damned lies and Statistics
The problem is that often the numbers only tell part of the story. They say X number of "IT workers" laid off; but how many of those are people that just do data entry or spreadsheet analysis? (i.e. not IT technical workers)
Then how many of the companies are then hiring "consultants" to do specific jobs (quite often spending more per hour but less overall) instead of keeping staff on reduced hours. Or how many jobs are being "outsourced". These are figures that are needed in order to understand the real situation.
BTW, currently on the pointed end of a major problem caused by outsourcing - I can't believe that angry staff aren't storming the office with pitchforks and blazing torches. (I've tried to estimate how much time is wasted each day in the one office just on startup each morning - I've got a figure of 125 man hours) The quality of the IT provision has nose dived, but it's outsourced so it must be cheaper right?
Which of the following items will be on the main news:
"Highly sophisticated programme of space exploration continues with the safe return of 3 brave individuals"
"The wife of the heir to the British throne is a woman and has breasts"
- Product Round-up Smartwatch face off: Pebble, MetaWatch and new hi-tech timepieces
- Geek's Guide to Britain BT Tower is just a relic? Wrong: It relays 18,000hrs of telly daily
- Geek's Guide to Britain The bunker at the end of the world - in Essex
- Review: Sony Xperia SP
- FLABBER-JASTED: It's 'jif', NOT '.gif', says man who should know