back to article What’s new and improving about IT today?

For anyone who has been in IT for a while, all that new and improved stuff can quite quickly feel like the same-old-same-old, repackaged for the latest generation of supposedly tech-literate masses. Still, the “I’ve seen it all before” game can be a dangerous one to play. It is too easy (for example) to look at social media and …


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  1. Pete 2

    bandwidth is the big thing

    It used to be that the only way to get fast access to your data was to have a dedicated bus between the processor and your disk drive. Recent years have shown that it's practical to have your data on the end of a network and still be able to access it fast and in volume.

    This leads to opportunities and to problems. Yes, it means it's viable for home users to use a network suppository for backups (although it's still hard to get people to take backups) but it also means that there's a leap of faith: that the backup will still exist in times to come, when you need it most. Likewise with online documents and apps such as Google docs and cloud computing.

    At present we're still in the naive, exuberant phase of exploring the possibilities. So far no major cloud has turned to rain, or online document repository shut up shop, taking all its users' files and backups with it. However, one or both of these WILL happen.

    1. Brutus


      There has to be a good joke about network _suppositories_, but I just can't work it out!

    2. M. Poolman

      The best typo in the world

      Probably. The mind (amongst other things) boggles. Made my Friday afternoon.

  2. Mark Dempster

    Interesting, but...

    ... how does this relate to the Marillion business model?

    (Sorry, in-joke!)

  3. Mike Shepherd
    Thumb Down


    This article is completely vacuous. It says "Keep an eye on innovations, but don't rush to adopt without careful consideration". It's not "Eureka" material and the rest is waffle.

    There is no merit in referring to "forward-thinking businesses" with no more definition or measurement than, presumably, "those that agree with me".

    Does Freeform Dynamics pay for space on here? If so, they could use it much better.

  4. Lou Gosselin


    I'm glad this article was written, as it brings up some important issues. I'd like to focus on the outsourcing in particular.

    "...the attitudes of more forward-looking (and indeed profitable) organisations, we found some very interesting correlations – not least, that these were more likely to outsource their IT to third parties"

    Outsourcing (and offshoring) various functions has been heralded as the way to move forward, and to maximize profit. Consider unit of work W, which costs $X inhouse and $Y out sourced. A CEO looking at the numbers may determine that $Y is the best deal, and start outsourcing functions with full support of shareholders. Indeed, his choice has saved the company money and in doing so made it more competitive. The CEO's actions were logically justified in terms of corporate profit.

    However I believe there are hidden macro-economic costs that are not being factored in. For one, the lost of internal expertise has long term implications. Also, there are only so many jobs which can be out sourced/off shored before the job losses cause an economic meltdown.

    Economists keep pushing us to outsource more and more. We no longer have the expertise, capability, or infrastructures in place to manufacture textiles, electronics, components. For those in the US, take a look around your home/office and try to find a single component from the US. At best, it was "assembled in the USA".

    We've been coping with this strategy by becoming better educated and commuting further for work. But today, even the higher education jobs, such as in IT, are undergoing large scale off shoring initiatives. Those with higher education degrees are being laid off in droves. There are no higher jobs to migrate to.

    In conclusion, much like the tragedy of the commons, outsourcing and off shoring in particular do appealing to the CEOs who want to maximize their personal gain, it's a short sighted approach in the long view.

    I can only hope that some day corporations will be held to a higher standard of responsibility towards the public/workers who built them up.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle


    Outsourcing to reduce costs is like eating to reduce weight.

  6. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    Note it;s the *balence* that matters

    "it is the more forward-thinking businesses that get the balance right between what should stay in-house and what should be sourced externally,"

    IE They only outsource items that are *not* core to their business. Note however that weather the businesses IT skills are *core* to doing what it does so well may be a grey area (News International IT systems did not seem to be critical in managements view. Perhaps they were wrong).

    A classic example of this was a disk drive company. PCB's , cases, motors *all* bought in.

    Platter mfg, platter coating and IIRC head mfg *all* in house. These are the bits that make a disk drive different from other products and their ones from their competitors.

    The other point I noted was the emphasis on interoperability. One justification for the use of ERP has been the elimination of these issues. I suggest not all ERP is equal on this point. Try before you buy and do they have *reference* sites of good implementations (in your industry) you can visit?

    Mine will have "A fwe good men from Univac" in the pocket.

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