I give up
Ok, what does 'commodity dial tone services' actually mean? Is it meant to be good or bad?
As Sodor wakes to a new year, Thomas and his friends notice some very disturbing things... The end of the IT world train is arriving at platform one Cheaper hardware and software prices in 2009 means that IT becomes an increasingly throwaway business. We're there with printers, and other plug-ins: expect much the same with …
So you buy the thingy, plug it into your computer, plug the phone into the magic jack and make your call. However, It all goes suspiciously quiet on the issue of what the computer is plugged into.
Call me cynical, but I reckon what happens is that you then get shafted by the phone company because they transport the bitty goodness through the intertubes, as well as wanting line rental. Seems to me that the choice is Virgin or BT, if you call that a choice. If you live out of town, you're free to choose BT.
Or am I missing something?
...to be able to access the online services. That infrastructure still needs to be supported by some local IT staff.
There is a big snag with online services like Google's - if you are a manager responsible for the data protection and related issues, how can you be sure whether legal requirements in the UK are met if you are using online services located in the USA? Or is the data held in some offshore location elsewhere?
"I help management teams make quantum change, which means helping them increase business performance beyond what is possible doing business as usual. Sometimes prompted by opportunity, the need for this level of change is most often driven by things like a major market inflection point, a compromised value proposition, being on the receiving end of globalization, and/or game changing competitive use of technology or alliances. Quantum change forces the management team outside their comfort zone - and challenges them to think, act and ultimately be different."
Which shows this article up for exactly what is is - a self-serving, poorly disguised bullshit-strewn sales pitch. El Reg used to have integrity and credibility, seems like you guys are prepared to give a platform to any huckser that comes along. Shame, I used to look to you for credible analysis and comment. No more.
So instead of calling our local helpdesk we have to call google.
Hello yes my company uses your web version office suite and the entire document I was working on got infected with a IE worm that is now spreading VIA the documents you support and all my data I typed in is now worthless. Or Hello The document I was working with using IE is gone! Help me bring it back where did it go?
Autosaving a document remotely is riskier than saving locally.
Still in house IT soloutions will still be king for the next 5 years.
Only, what about all the really positive experiences we've had over the last 10 years outsourcing call centers and software development. These experiences have been so positive that these services are rebounding back home. If you are a company that has always had shitty customer service, then automating, and leaving that in the Far East, is a plan. But what if you have made your reputation by caring for your customers better than your competitors? Shall we all race to be the worst at customer service, or is there a competitive advantage to spending on service when some companies choose not to?
Only, every year when you think about getting rid of your legacy systems, you wonder what you will do about all the business processes that suddenly break. Can you do without them? Really? Do you want to bet your career on that intuition during Great Depression II? Maybe a bit of process engineering will still need to be done to get the company onto all that whizzy new stuff.
Only, what do you do when your cheapo chinese DSL router in some remote site craps out due to a little voltage spike, or from overheating in a cabinet, times 700 remote sites. It is at this moment that you discover that not all routers are created equal.
Same thing with your phone service. Your analog telephone line has about 4 9's (99.99%) of reliability. Your DSL has 2 9's. Your cable modem maybe 1 9. Magic Jack may be not-so-bad for home phone service, where the average message is "Hi. How are you? I'm fine. What are you doing? No I'm not doing anything either.", but maybe not so good when the average message is "Help me spend $50k on your products." If your company doesn't use the phone, turn the things off altogether. Otherwise, it's a cost vs. benefit proposition. You can lose a lot of business during the time your cable modem is down.
News of IT's death is premature.
Its already here
Already companies aren't replacing those who have left, or training ANYONE instead they are bringing in "consultants" from god knows where, on the basis its "cheap" and they are such clever people.
Plus we dont have to get our "hands dirty" (but we are screwed when something goes wrong and customers are left waiting while the excellent system the outsourcer installed goes tits-up, then cue 20 minutes on the phone and another 30 waiting for them to remote in and reboot the system (as in store reboots are banned under the contract)
Needless to say UK in 10 years will be a nation of minimum wage shop workers, anything "technical" will be outsourced. Worst part...thats what the govt wants...nation of sheeple
Bit of a rant, states the bleeding obvious (things are going to get tougher), but otherwise ignores reality in almost every respect.
Sure, people will look hard at legacy systems, but they've probably done that already. The reason they're still there are the migration costs. Unless the cost balance changes (like converting all those documents and spreadsheets suddenly requires less manpower) things will probably carry on the way they are. Even if they don't, there's always plenty of work for IT staff to do when systems change, whatever direction they go in.
And will Google get all the business? Well maybe, if your company's so short sighted and strapped for cash that it takes their shilling. But most businesses place a lot of value on having control of their options and can see that Google has more interest long-term in its own bottom line than in theirs.
Shame The Reg needs to publish this sort of hyped-up rubbish really. I'm sure most readers would prefer more reasoned analysis. Still, I suppose in these times of recession you have to take what you can get. Or maybe The Reg should outsource its IT to Google and save a bit of cash that way?
Thomas the Tank? And you call yourselves Poms, the inventors of the steam engine?
Even us antipodean exiles know that his proper title is Thomas the Tank <b>Engine</b>.
You threw in the island of Sodor just because it's part of the Thomas trivia, but how many at Vulture Central know the origin of same, and the connection with Gilbert & Sullivan, eh?
[Looking for an icon to represent supercilious superiority; something to do with cricket and the Ashes might do...]
Just think about it, every one is connected some how. It was land lines and cable but now we can use our computers to connect to every thing from our phones to personal sites like facebook, my space. You can find a date, a partner or a fling on line and it is cataloged and saved for as long as the provider wants.
We outsource most if not all of our data; even if it gives the company/ nation all of our personal and nations secure data. This lends it self to be used by others and saved on a vast computer cloud that is controlled by who?
Google thinks they have the great software as a cloud deal ready to go, but M$ is also doing the same thing. But this will cost more and let both keep track and charge you for every thing you do.
If you keep track of new technology or who on your network is looking at things that are not approved the cloud company also knows about it.
Now if they do not approve of what is going on they can stop your company's access until you fix/fire the employee for the access to the bad site.
This is only a sample of what a company can expect if they join a cloud computer
I will be very surprised if public companies in the U.S. embrace Gmail for corporate email needs. The SOX requirements alone create a HUGE risk premium for anyone who decides to outsource the corporate email solution. Imagine the look on some CEO's face when his CIO tells him that the emails the FBI requested could not be retrieved because they have disappeared into the Googleplex. Will we see a CEO go to jail because of this kind of a situation?
No, I think it is far more likely that corporations will copy the Google cheap infrastructure model, hiring away Google engineers in the process, rather than allow Google to manage (read "control") their data. Why pay Google when you can take their talent and do it yourself?
"a self-serving, poorly disguised bullshit-strewn sales pitch"... By Anonymous Coward Posted Friday 2nd January 2009 20:46 GMT
Bullshit-strewn, AC? You cannot be serious? It's the real thing.
And re. "El Reg used to have integrity and credibility, seems like you guys are prepared to give a platform to any huckser that comes along." ... As one who can most definitively speak from long personal experience, that statement is manifestly false, and therefore probably deliberately crafted for a hidden self-serving agenda which is in danger of imminent catastrophic business collapse, as their subjectivity in vetting supplied copy for comment has often caused me to ponder the objectivity of the Moderator/Receiving Party, with even thoughts of submissions not even arriving for Site Sight Sharing, being whisked away to some secret room for some Phorm of Deeper Packet Inspection of MetaData Content.... which in some who may be many, would result in a debilitating Schizoid Paranoia but in Others, who would be entirely different Entities, IT would produce Energy and Stealth Entry and Special Access to ProgramMIng Protocols for Embedding Remote Third Party Proxy Opportunities/ZeroDay Vulnerabilities for AIMarket Capitalisation of Advantage and Myriad Sleeper Cell Placements, a Tangential Collateral Benefit for Derivative Future Options to Market/Pharm/Husband/Seed ....... which would certainly not be easily considered a Debilitating Psychotic Affliction, but much more a Quantum Communications Breakthrough?Breakout?Application?real thing sales pitch? :-)
"News of IT's death is premature." ... By Anonymous Coward Posted Friday 2nd January 2009 22:04 GMT
Indeed, I concur. IT is going to the Prom and she shall be crowned Queen of the Ball and Mistress to no One. Let the Games Begin. Gentlemen, Start your Engines.
"Or maybe The Reg should outsource its IT to Google and save a bit of cash that way?"... By Anonymous Coward Posted Saturday 3rd January 2009 01:48 GMT
AC, Is that the same as Google buying in El Reg XXXXPerTeasers, which would make them a Pile of Dosh/Flash Cash for Spending? What an excellent idea and just what the Moribund Markets need, Darling, CyberIntelAIgent Feed and Novel Innovative Leaders.
You can be sure that if Google are too slow, Microsoft may not be, and then there is the clout in the likes of the AMD Foundry and Sovereign Wealth Funders, and never to forget the Switched On Mob Crowd into legitimising Profitable Activity Underground for OverArching Control Levers. All in All, QuITe a Lively, Virtually Real Sector with Countless Equally Viable Possibilities/Probabilities ........ but obviously No Go Areas and/or Alien territory to Anonymous Cowards.
I think rather the opposite would happen.
Once CEO's and politicians realise they can outsource their email to Google and then shrug vaguely when the FBI asks for email copies they'll all be at it. As it is there's a widespread contempt from the elite when it comes to data retention and protection.
I don't think the government wants a nation of stupid, clueless sheeple so much as it just doesn't listen to anyone except Private Industry who always have a zippy Powerpoint presentation to hand showing how their particular project will start the 2nd renaissance.
I've worked in IT long enough that I've heard this kind of management consultant twaddle come up time and time again, usually from the same self-important "experts".
With regards outsourcing to Asia. This is cut and paste from 2001. Asian outsiorcing has stagnated - staff are more expensive now as demand out stripped supply of skilled labour. China saw this and didn't jump on this bandwagon knowing the bubble would burst. Language (more over, accents) made them hard to use and unpopular, combined with false economies - you can't remote fix a failed CPU or bsod. At best, outsourcing moves to eastern Europe, on many cases back in house.
As for remote apps from google etc. Fine for home users or maybe SME, but without a reliable, high bandwidth connection to each office (expensive), plus issues around data security leading to healthy paranoia), large corporates and governments will steer clear. In house means better security, reliability and support response times than remote apps.
So I suggest El Reg put this guy out to pasture where he can Tommy Tank with his mates.....
It is the master generalists that do well, always have done in IT, specialists no one needs any more, you have to be good with many things, and people just starting out don't need those they will end up costing and not returning.
In truth the good times of IT are back, you don't need fleets of people, you just need good people who can turn their hand to whatever is required. You should be able to code in about 7 languages, administer across operating systems, be able to market, and understand business, bit of design capability is useful as well.
IT for too long has accepted the mediocre, and the 'specialists' were the most mediocre of the lot, you have to be able to see the big picture, and this does extend to the business. You have to be able to wipe the floor with 'specialists' and go to complete solution. All the tools are in position to achieve this, and the knowledge systems are extensive and in the main open, the lower level lore is the thing to have and it feeds a huge upper capability.
The article struck me as - per my title - sarcasm (ok then, irony). Surely this
"...expect them to fail to explain that products from the likes of D-Link that cost a fraction of their price, but have the same specs, are inferior."
gives it away.
Anyone in the business for any time knows that back-of-the-lorry deals & outsourcing for anything too sophisticated works ... a bit ... until it doesn't ... then it blows up in your face taking your nose with it.
The fact that people fail to learn this lesson repeatedly and are about to use the straitened financial situation as an excuse to not learn it again was perhaps the point of the article.
I simply don't agree with your prediction that there will be a huge corporate migration to online services such as GMail or rented online applications in 2009. No sensible company is going to sacrifice the security of it's data by putting it through an online provider (except perhaps the Companies that sell this stuff like MS or Google).
What kind of idiot analysts are writing this stuff? Do they even work in the industry? You need to do a little bit more than sub-edit Google's press announcements you know.
For all the AC postings claiming bullshit and vested interest; Apparently you are not up to speed on the current El Reg tariffs. Of course they're for sale, and they're very up-front about it. They've posted their tariffs numerous times. If you don't like it, get over it. Mine's handing you your coat on the way out.
Yup. I'm with you there.
All this desperate/disparate money-sucking hype makes me puke. The IT industry and business at large really needs a good defragment. It's this kind of bullshit that has helped bring about the current financial frenzy.
I say weed out these garrulous parasites and stick *them* on a fucking cloud somewhere. I'm sure someone like NuLabour or Obama can find a use for them.
Spin as a Service anyone?
"I think it is far more likely that corporations will copy the Google cheap infrastructure model"
Eh? We were doing cheap infrastructure in corporations LONG before Google ever existed, and probably before the kids in charge were even born. What do you think RAID stands for, anyway? Ever seen a rack full of pizza boxes? Know what a VAX cluster is?
"hiring away Google engineers in the process"
Nope. I haven't seen an ex-google employee that was worth a shit in the RealWorld[tm]. Those poor kids have drunk too much of the GoolAid to be saved ... and I'm beginning to think some of the ElReg writers have had a few too many swigs from the same GoolAid pond.
Nearly coherent, you're getting there!
How can IT outsourcing save a company money? The outsourced department still has to be paid - hardware still has to bought and guess what a person who would be costing £50 in-house (total package) would be charged back to the company at a rate of about £70 - please tell me how this is a cost saving? Not to mention all those small bits you get done as value add by your in house guys suddenly becomes a chargeable project. Outsourcing companies are in business to make a profit just like every other company. Guess what - they come in with a great offer to run you IT department or parts of it and then have to trim costs at a rate of ~10% a year over the life of the contract to make it profitable - does that sound customer focused to you?
Yes they can bring many advantages like streamlining processes and standardising but any in-house IT department can achieve the same things if the CIO or other substantial person can actually do the job cheaper.
surely you need less outsourcing for more efficiency?
Unless of course you are involved with the said company/goverment, in which case you can completely absolve all responsibility and blame the 'system/another company,' when something goes a bit wrong.
'sorry, we had a set budget to spend, gave this to another company which then employed people at the lowest cost and they pocketed any difference - this was so we could profit maximise, you wouldnt expect us to do anything else would you?.' << similar argument the goverment used when losing data (replace profit, with 'tax payers' money') and shell used when drivers/people protested.
If I was in the art of being paid to predict the next year, I would predict the exact opposite. Since outsourcing requires a company to trust multiple companies to do their bidding and maintain their 'brand,' they trust more and more people, whose only aim is to make money. Whereas in house you only have yourself to blame if something goes awry. And I dont think it would be unresonable to suggest the level of trust between companies is hardly at an all time high at the moment.
Unless, of course you want the ability to blame somebody else...
Google is the kind of "service" where no one really knows (or cares) if the answer is wrong occasionally. Most business applications don't fit that model (unless we're talking NHS IT or similar special cases). Payroll? Sales? Accounts receivable? Get those wrong and someone potentially gets quite upset.
But, as others have noted, the whole article is self-promoting twaddle, so minor technical details like this don't really count for much.
Happy new year. See you down the dole office.
Couldn't someone proofread these articles before posting them?
It might have been nice if the author had read it through at least once after banging out his first draft. As a technical writer, I would be ashamed to submit work of this quality (and I hope it would be rejected if I did).
"...products from the likes of D-Link that cost a fraction of their price, but have the same specs, are inferior."
Perhaps I missed something over the past six months, but... inexpensive Dlink et al product do not offer managed switch functions. Inexpensive Dlink et al product do not offer vlans, QOS, port counters and so on. Where these companies offer management they also charge for it.
The writing may be on the wall. HP is offering lower cost on managed switches. I don't know about Cisco - I can't stand CiscoOS, and NT is, well, NT... 'nuff sed. The chips are cheap: Cisco AFAIK has one OS good for all it's LAN products; NT has had one OS for almost all it's products for a few years. Of course neither NT nor Cisco can bring themselves to actually execute on the market.
Just as ethernet card controllers became commodity product so will switch controllers. Probably we are there now, but the cheap end does not want to make the jump and the expensive end does not want to cut prices.
FWIW take a look at HP 1800 series. Perhaps it is HP's poke of the stick?
To suggest that a Dlink currently competes on features other that throughput is to make a mistake.
"Remember, if you are not adding clear value, then you must be adding pure cost."
This is bullshit. Or just trolling.
Define, in dollars, the value of problems getting solved and is it "clear value" or not?
Additionally, what's the cost of lingering problems, in dollars?
"Adding value" is another bullshit bingo term, which actually means "adding value we (the beancounters) can understand". So the writer is obviously a beancounter, lowest form of corporate life.
Beancounters haven't ever been able to put monetary value to any kind of abstract problems, like "What's the cost of lingering problems?". So they ignore those. Eventually those problems _must_ be solved, at hundred fold costs. At this point even a bencounter can calculate costs and put them in "unforeseen costs", which is also bullshit: Anybody else saw those and told to benacounters, but they, in their righteousness, wouldn't believe.
Another profession whose beliefs are stronger and more important than reality: "If we can't calculate it, it doesn't exist'.
I don't agree with the article's conclusion that IT is doomed, but it's going to be a very rough few years while companies lose billions on short-sighted cost-cutting measures.
Nobody will have the money to spend-to-save, so legacy systems will just be run (without support - saving £millions a year) until they fail, and then replaced with something cheap and off-the-shelf. Turns out you don't need 4- or 5- nines... 2- or 3- are enough, particularly if you're lucky. The companies that aren't lucky will struggle and some will fail. Customer service will get worse as a result - not so much "computer says no" as "computer doesn't say anything as it's broken today". Remember: £1m/year buys 10,000 man-days of downtime.
Outsourcing email, applications and data processing to the cloud is silly. But it'll happen because it looks cheap. It'll fail, and drive a few more companies to the wall, but it'll be Good Enough in many cases. Ditto outsourcing to Asia. One reason it failed before is because people didn't outsource *enough* - a front-office/back-office split has huge communication costs, particularly across time-zones and language barriers, but putting all of your eggs into the one basket removes that problem... If your call-centres are in India, and your outsourced IT is as well, why are you paying people in the UK to glue it all together?
As for talk of "adding value", I think it's entirely reasonable. If you can't point to a part of your organisation's products or services or balance sheet and say "I did that", just what the hell are you drawing a salary for?
In agreement with AC, this is the sort of management garbagespeak I've put up with. Usually followed by a failed project or three and some very p*ssed off users.
Come on El Reg, first Struan Robertson with his "I love the IWF" rant and now this. Very disappointing. You're not supposed to be a sales platform you're supposed to be an investigative organ for the IT and comms industry.
Can we get back to normal service now?
Yes Cormac, tell us about banks corporate Email being done using Gmail. Plus maybe, as a goodie, the whole document management systems.
You aren't serious, are you?
Sorry El Reg, this was just utter crap and just plain stupid.
Granted, if the UK does its ID-uber-database then yes, why not run it on google systems :-)
Happy New Year to all @ El Reg, btw!
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I have seen several IT shops in my town go through the In House-Out Source cycle and all it does in the end is make the whole IT process cost more. The In House guys get everything set up and some dipstick in management with a 'buddy' comes in and gets the thing outsourced to his company. They change every thing around and then when it goes South, the management weasel moves on and then the 'buddy' and his crew are lax and unresposive. So management then brings every thing back in and by now it has cost 3 to 4 times as much.
Most IT departments are NOT a profit generating area. Until management can view IT as a utility, they will never understand why the (under paid) staff has a high turn over in IT.
"The SOX requirements alone create a HUGE risk premium for anyone who decides to outsource the corporate email solution. Imagine the look on some CEO's face when his CIO tells him that the emails the FBI requested could not be retrieved because they have disappeared into the Googleplex. Will we see a CEO go to jail because of this kind of a situation?"
More likely the CEO will pissed that his email can't be 'lost' during an unexplained fire in the server room (and tape store and remote fail over).
High performance SAN's as a throwaway service? Redundant low-cost database servers in located in Asia? Advocating VoIP when you don't know the difference between a D-Link and a 5608? Google Gears?
<scans Bullshit and Vested Interest>
Oh. He is a clueless consultant. I love how he misuses the term quantum.
I've been in the industry for nearly 30 years and seen a couple of interesting tipping points adn the a few recessions to boot. Experience and an admitted 'gut feel' tell me that whilst there may not be mass abandonment of traditional IT models, a significant move will occur to open source, open stds, cloud and saas based IT in 2009. Perhaps we should lengthen the timeline a little as aggresive moves like IT delivery model transformations and new business model variants from new technology capabilities or commercials may become more prevalent the deeper we get into recession; so late 09/early2010. Looking across 09 and 10 into early 11 the move will, in my view be a significant one that will shake the industry - recognised by all the big players changing their models if nothing else; even Microsoft that last bastion perhaps of legacy delivery models and software pricing.
The industry was at a tipping point in any case, where new, cheaper technology was being made ever more easily available and useful to a wider number of people - then add the current (and probably 2 year long) recession we are facing which fuels the search for lower cost performant technology to continue business (or to survive perhaps) cost effectively in this market and we have all the fuel we need for a reasonable sized bonfire.
It's interesting to see how much emotion went into some of my fellow commentators respnoses; I don't personally feel charged either way, for me it's all about plain business & commercial logic and about considering history of tipping points, consumer adoption patterns and recessionary behaviour. Then it's about working out in advance, how to make good business decisions in this climate.
The writing is, IMHO, on the wall, whether some like it or not!
"Software has gone from purchase, to rental, to free open systems and is now rapidly moving to online service."
What are you smoking? No one wants software as an online service.
This hole online software is just the latest iteration of the netcomputer.
"The computer is the network." What a load.
It hasn't worked any other time it has been tried. It is just another bad idea that will waste a pile of cash, and fail.
Why do some people still think outsourcing is the solution to all problems? There is plenty of BS in this "scenario" to fill a building.
- Call centers / outsourced helpdesks: I think those who have outsourced to India or Asia are switching to Latin America instead, as Mexican dudes actually pick up the American accent and are easier to understand than their Indian counterparts. (British folks might be annoyed at the Merkin accent, but at least it would be comprehensible)
- Google as a Back Office solution: Just wait until some SOX-compliant organization fails its SOX by doing this.
- D-Link vs. Cisco: This guy should be introduced to my Linksys 8-port switch/router. It shits itself whenever I dare to pass large amounts of data through it from more than 4 computers. Oh, and my D-Link access point resets itself every 2 minutes.
As soon as I read "death of the in-house IT industry" I checked who was the author ... hm... an O'Reilly. I'm not surprised.
"Remember the IT cost justification for that ERP system - all those systems that it would replace, but somehow never did."
Fortunately Cormac now has found the justification to move everything to Google and Asia. And look at all those systems this will replace! Finally, we will be in IT heaven! So the costs for these moves are of course justified!
Sounds like yesterday's promise of client-server, 3 tier-architecture, BPR, SOA, etc. etc. dressed up in a new attire. In my opinion Cormac addresses some interesting trends, that will be added to the total stack of options a CIO has. But no more than that.
As an ex-BT bod I have to say that I've never seen an outsourcing deal work properly. They will plow on regardless asking for more money for just the status quo (that was provided to them on a plate by in-house IT) and occasionally doing some Exec's private project at a huge extra cost that could be done easily and cheaply by the people the company have just pushed away.
However the article has one thing right - this is exactly how all the upper management think it will work (including the "hey - my google mail is better than our corporate email - let's change!"). Unfortunately the hidden landmines will detonate further down the road as some legacy kit falls over and no one knows how it works or why the financial systems now don't work due to that.
A 6 month outsourcing from BT ended up with them rehiring a couple of people back as contractors and using them as a low-morale library of "what do you think we should do about this?" and asking basic systems and networks questions again and again. It doesn't help that the outsourcing people get the knowledge and then leave for better jobs so the outsourcing company has to bring in more newbies.
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