Thu, Jul 16 2009 23:28
The growing disconnect
I was sent this via email and asked if I could post it in it's entirty:
" Do you have this feeling that IT is moving into a direction (perhaps backwards) where business owners are getting less and less control over their own data, because IT is moving into virtualization, data-warehousing, and lots of over-complicated terms that only IT professionals really understand?
I hate to say it, but it's like you see IT running towards this whole push into the idea of running a business from a (gulp!) datacenter. Now I'm not just talking about remote datacenters. More like that all the data is confined in a machine somewhere that end-users don't have the privilege to understand, but there's some IT person/team that kinda knows the inner workings like a maintenance engineer knows the engine on a seaship, although realistically most of what they know is just about the quirks, and how to work around them.
What really scares me about the future of IT is this whole concept of acceptable loss in IT. Several companies have talked about having completely unmanned portable datacenters units in self-sustaining cargo containers, where rackmount servers are housed with AC units, and are rarely ever entered by a live person. They have these massive RAID arrays that can sustain huge loss in drive counts, as well as redundant blades and compute modules. When the datacenter unit has a loss of XX%, they bring in a crane, pull the massive unit out, scrap it, and put a new cargo container and hook up a couple cables on the exterior. The whole idea seems a bit proposterous to me.
I blame the push to cloud computing for taking away the creative power from IT professionals. Smaller voices in the IT world don't have as big a say as larger corporations anymore, so IT workers are expected to build off of what is force fed to them.
There's a real growing disconnect between users, their data, and their understanding of how their data works for them. That disconnect is becoming more and more familiar to IT workers too. "
We are in a disruptive time. And we are selling technology to people and as this poster says, not telling them, not educating them on what they need to know to understand their business processes? While some will argue that business owners just need to let go and outsource, to be a really good businessman to know when to take the risks, when to make the moves, when to zig in your business when everyone else is zagging you need to know your business. And sometimes that means data flow processes. If all of those processes are elsewhere, will you be able to spot the opportunities and issues?
Ken Edwards has a really good post on what the IT world should be doing -- http://azsmbitthoughts.blogspot.com/2009/07/what-clients-want.html I think we all need to be listening more. Listening to the needs, not what we think people need.
Are we devising solutions because it's easier for us, or are we listening to what the client's need? Do you feel that data is being removed from the business owner who depends on it?
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