Viewpoint: Information Technology Is "Broken"
IT is overly complex, difficult to implement correctly, and expensive to maintain
Jul. 14, 2008 02:45 PM
Mike Eaton's Blog
Information Technology is fantastic, absolutely essential, and largely responsible for this country's increase in productivity over the past decade or so. It's also broken. IT is overly complex, difficult to implement correctly, and expensive to maintain over its short lifespan.
I was going to go so far as saying IT Sucks. But that didn’t sound professional. On the other hand, it’s not wrong either.
Although one could fill a novel with what’s wrong with Information Technology, nobody would ever read that novel. So here is a brief overview of a few points we think are worth mentioning.
Complexity – Each computer contains parts from thousands of manufacturers. We then install a typical Microsoft operating system with millions of configuration variables, and on top of that, we install dozens of applications, some well developed, others not so much. Now consider that networks are filled with several, dozens, often hundreds of computers, network equipment, peripherals, etc., and soon you can understand what we mean by “overly complex”.
Requires high levels of expertise – Getting dozens of computers to communicate effectively and work reliably and productively while remaining secure takes a considerable amount of knowledge and experience. We often tell our customers that nearly every IT guy has a different way to do it and even well meaning and intelligent IT professionals will argue over the optimal way of doing it. How confident would you feel if you encountered three surgeons arguing over how they were going to perform your next surgery?
Expensive to maintain – Labor is the most expensive component of any IT infrastructure. And even well designed IT environments require regular maintenance and administration. IT environments that are not well designed take even more.
Cycle of obsolescence – The sad truth is that even the best equipment and software is only designed to last 3 to 4 years before it needs to be replaced. So if you were lucky to have had the best IT guys design an IT environment that was well matched to your requirements and you maintained it diligently over the last 3 years, it’s about time to do it all over again.
Even with all of these shortcomings, Information Technology has, generally speaking, delivered enough value and productivity that the investment is almost always worth it. However, those productivity increases have been slowing in the last few years and in order to overcome that slowdown, we need to do something different. And we would argue, it needs to be very different.
Over the past ten years we have worked to address the inherent shortcomings in IT. Our hosted computing solution does it. Our mantra has been simple, easy, affordable. The future of IT is looking a bit brighter.
[This article appeared originaly here and is republished in full with the kind permission of the author, who retains copyright.]