back to article B-Ark passengers to control most IT spend from 2019 onwards

People outside the IT department will control more than half of IT budgets from 2019 onwards, according to analyst outfit IDC. Spending will split 50.5/49.5 between the IT department and line of business people (LOB) in 2018, the firm said. The rise and rise of SaaS means the latter groups’ budgets will account for 70 per cent …

  1. .stu

    Given the unstoppable rise of the mobile phone, telephone cleaners may be about to make a comeback.

    1. VikiAi

      That the remaining 2/3 of the population subsequently died out from a disease transmitted by a dirty telephone was Adams' backward swipe at the whole idea he had just spent several paragraphs setting up - pure genius, that man!

    2. handleoclast


      Given the unstoppable rise of the mobile phone, telephone cleaners may be about to make a comeback.

      How do you reach that conclusion?

      A shared telephone may spread germs. Hence the need for telephone sanitizers. As more people get mobiles, fewer of them will be shared.

      Your conclusion appears to be the opposite of reality.

      Of course, if you were making a joke, it would have helped to use the appropriate icon so people didn't take you seriously.

      1. Rich 11 Silver badge

        Re: @.stu

        fewer of them will be shared

        Well, yes, in the purely physical sense...

      2. onefang

        Re: @.stu

        "A shared telephone may spread germs. Hence the need for telephone sanitizers. As more people get mobiles, fewer of them will be shared."

        Ah, you made the mistake of thinking stu was talking about germs. Probably stu meant cleaning private data slurping and other malware apps out of mobile phones.

  2. David 132 Silver badge

    Not quite correct.

    '... in which a race called the "Golgafrinchams" needed to move to another planet. They put their smart and productive people onto two space arks. A third ark, the "B-Ark" was home to " telephone sanitisers,...'

    Simon, you hoopy frood, you...

    I think it was pretty well implied in the book (and radio show/TV show/souvenir tea-towel, what a shame they never made a movie SHUTUPSHUTUPSHUTUP) that there never were other arks, and it was just a cunning ploy by the Golgafrinchans to get rid of part of their population. As I recall, the Golgafrinchans subsequently perished from an infectious disease spread via dirty telephone handsets.

    But that's not important. The really important question is: what colour should this invention "The Wheel" be?

    1. Kernel

      Re: Not quite correct.

      "But that's not important. The really important question is: what colour should this invention "The Wheel" be?"

      And do people want it to be nasally fitted?

      1. Notas Badoff

        Re: Not quite correct.

        Ha ha, you kill me. Here, have some leaves.

      2. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge

        Re: Not quite correct.

        MARKETING GIRL: When you have been in marketing as long as I have, you’ll know that before any new product can be developed, it has to be properly researched. I mean yes, yes we’ve got to find out what people want from fire, I mean how do they relate to it, the image -

        FORD: Oh, stick it up your nose.

        MARKETING GIRL: Yes which is precisely the sort of thing we need to know, I mean do people want fire that can be fitted nasally.

      3. Michael Habel Silver badge

        Re: Not quite correct.

        "And do people want it to be nasally fitted?"

        Stick it up your Nose!

        1. tfewster Silver badge

          Re: Not quite correct.

          IIRC, Arthur Dent realised that we were the descendants of the B-Ark Golgafrinchans.

          That explains a lot.

        2. David 132 Silver badge

          Re: Not quite correct.

          Michael Habel Stick it up your Nose!

          And then... “Go Stick Your Head In A Pig”

    2. Nick Sticks

      Re: Not quite correct.

      @David 132

      Would like to up vote you but it's on 42.........

  3. VikiAi

    The bane of my profesional existance

    is supporting equipment purchased from the glossy brochure instead of the spec. sheet.

    1. Ben1892

      Re: The bane of my profesional existance

      Yep; "We've just bought this <insert SaaS here> tried to connect to it and it doesn't work, apparently we need to open all these ports on the firewall ( 0-65535 TCP and UDP) , install these axtiveX controls, downgrade Java to an unsupported version, oh and can you make it so we don't have to log on and that it also knows who all the employees are"

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The bane of my profesional existance

        Been there, done that. But I have a colleague who needs to audit everything for GDPR compliancy, and oddly enough a lot of the “Shadow IT” stuff ranks highly on his list. Oh the fun we’ll have after May 25th in blocking vendors of some of this crap... I’m talking web applications that *need* to run on out of date and unpatched Apache versions if we want what can only jokingly be called support. That talk to some cloudy service only over random ports, to hosts for which noone can seem to provide “trusted” IP ranges for after 2 years of asking. But it needs to have access to payroll data.

        Since IT didn’t buy, it’s up to the b-arking mad nitwit who bought it to revisit his surprisingly cheap “deal” of many moons ago. Or, alternatively, explain to the top brass why that great deal suddenly makes the company liable for multimillion euro fines.

        I’ll just sit back and watch.

    2. SVV

      Re: The bane of my profesional existance

      "Consider, for example, the rise of “digital workspaces” that create internal app stores....... Demand for such workspaces is driven by line of business buyers’ purchases, which can therefore create work for IT departments."

      What this paragraph is trying to explain, and the oh so true comment above understands, can be easily illustrated for those who have yet to experience the true horror of the reality for themselves. It goes something like this :

      "Sales and Marketing love iPad and iPhone! Big Manager love iPad and iPhone! Big Manager decide every computer thing must now be done on iPad and iPhone! Business buy lots of new iPad and iPhone! IT department lose will to live!

      1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

        Re: The bane of my profesional existance

        Although to quote from "Real Programmers Don't Use PASCAL"

        Even Unix might not be as bad on Real Programmers as it once was. The

        latest release of Unix has the potential of an operating system worthy of

        any Real Programmer -- two different and subtly incompatible user

        interfaces, an arcane and complicated teletype driver, virtual memory. If

        you ignore the fact that it's `structured', even `C' programming can be

        appreciated by the Real Programmer: after all, there's no type checking,

        variable names are seven (ten? eight?) characters long, and the added

        bonus of the Pointer data type is thrown in -- like having the best parts

        of FORTRAN and assembly language in one place

        Extending the analogy, there is much fun and chas to be had from mobile distributed platforms

        1. Aladdin Sane

          Re: The bane of my profesional existance

          Those linebreaks are making me twitch.

  4. CentralCoasty

    Simplified recent interaction:

    Goldfish: "Can you make it do THIS"....

    Large Corporate Money Guzzler: "Of, course. And it will only cost you X dollars".

    Goldfish: "Super - we'll take it".

    IT PM: "So what's the scope".

    Goldfish: "Here - see this scribbled note on the back of this used packaging"

    Large Corporate Money Guzzler (getting worried): "Here Goldfish, sign here..."

    IT PM: "Hang on, can we check this pricing please...."

    Large Corporate Money Guzzler: "Uhm.. .yes, but its based upon the scope... mumble, mumble"

    IT PM: "Sorry, what was that mumble mumble bit?"

    Goldfish: "Why hasnt it been delivered yet?"

    Large Corporate Money Guzzler: "Arhm, its actually just a prototype"

    IT PM: "Prototype? So its being tested at the moment?"

    Large Corporate Money Guzzler: "Arhm. No. Actually its just a concept, but we are sure it will work for you... maybe.... but you may want to include some extras in the contract to be sure"

    IT PM: "Like what extra?"

    Large Corporate Money Guzzler: "Well we expect the complete version to be ready 18 months after first delivery - so that will require some additional funding"

    IT PM: "Like an extra zero on the end of the budget....."

    Large Corporate Money Guzzler: "Oh and you will need a new HANA environment - the one you have is far to small for this solution to work"

    IT PM: "So thats another extra zero on the end of the budget...."

    Goldfish: "What do you mean its going to cost that much! Bloody IT always over-charges for its service... I'm going to do this myself from now on".

    IT PM walks away in disgust and goes get another contract somewhere else.

    1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

      You jest (maybe). I have spent the last 3 months on and off diggin an organisation our of the sh1t becaaue the requirements are a list of 12 feature, all but one of them with multiple interpretatins. Paid well though.

    2. Brandon 2


      Star Citizen comes to mind...

  5. stuartnz

    So close, and yet...

    I loved the headline, and was sad that I had to dock points for the explanatory addendum. Only B-Arkers would have needed it anyway. It ruined my bath, dammit!

    1. Jeffrey Nonken

      Re: So close, and yet...

      Not to mention that it was inaccurate.

  6. Blitheringeejit

    Very mixed feelings

    Douglas's faultless prescience was funny as fuck then, and still is now. But the inexorable drift of the real world towards his comedic nightmare is scary.

    Case in point - yesterday I agreed to answer a telephone survey on business banking, because in a moment of madness I thought maybe giving some feedback to banks on what doing business with them was really like might possibly result in some harm-reduction.

    But not one of the questions was about banking - they were all how I "feel" about my bank, how much I "trust" it, whether I feel that I have a good "relationship" with both the bank and my "relationship manager", and (the one which really had me in stitches) which banks I feel "do the most to benefit society in general".

    I kid you not, the whole conversation could have been taken verbatim from the script for the B-Ark HH2G scene.

    I feel very old and very tired.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Very mixed feelings

      I got so fed up with the incessant asking for feedback and surveys that I started to report every single one as a breach of privacy laws (I never agree to such use, and I damn well use any opt out option I can find).

      It seemed that this has worked to a degree. Not enough, but the number of repeat offenders has dropped.

      1. Hazmoid

        Re: Very mixed feelings

        I now state that company policy is not to answer surveys as we would spend all our time on the phone answering surveys. Most people understand and are quite happy to let me go. As you say, the word gets around and the call volume drops off.

  7. Herring`

    Timely. The rest of the company go out and buy these cloudy solutions against the advice of the IT department and now they want the IT department to make everything magically GDPR compliant (which the IT department can only achieve by taking away every single computer).

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The lunatics have taken over the asylum.

    1. Andrew Moore

      Yup, and they are B-arking mad...

      1. Fungus Bob

        I think you're B-arking up the wrong tree...

  9. netminder

    Fate of the Golgafrinchens

    It should be noted, according to Mr. Douglas, the entire race of Golgafrinchens died out from a disease acquired though the use of a dirty telephone.

  10. Roger Kynaston Silver badge

    I hate articles like this

    How am I supposed to maintain the my schoolfriends and I were the privileged elite who knew about Douglas Adams when the rest of the world were in ignorance of his genius.

    Anyway all this talk about cloud compute is just pie in the sky if you ask me.

    1. Zebad

      Re: I hate articles like this

      Holy Zarquon, singing fish! I used to think along those lines, but then realised that El Reg commentards are basically a virtual community of those friends you just never met at the time. (A bit like usenet used to be, at least the comp.something groups)

  11. Mike 137 Silver badge

    Is Sharwood being sufficiently analytical here?

    I suspect that the real distinction is not between IT folks that are omniscient and business folks that are dumb but between informed and uninformed folks, and it is probable that uninformed folks exist in both camps.

    The fundamental problem as I have observed it over some 30 years is that there is increasing impatience with [a] formal process; [b] the design stage between concept and implementation. Add to this the poor level and quality of communication skills commonly exhibited by both business and technical folks and the result is often as described here.

    While it is valid never to ascribe to malice what is adequately explained by stupidity, it is equally valid never to ascribe to stupidity what is adequately explained by ignorance - and each of us is inevitably ignorant of some part of any complex problem. That's why good communication and collaboration are necessary to arrive at a workable solution. However there's an absolute barrier to adequate delivery that commonly rears it's head - contempt for the "other side", and there are clear indications of it from both sides in this article and this thread. Avoid it - it will ruin everyone's chances of success.

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