The Business-Technology Weave

Sep 9 2010   10:07AM GMT

Ready or Not – We’re Not Ready

David Scott David Scott Profile: David Scott


Greetings fellow business and IT travelers. 

Yesterday I opined on “open” data-resource environments.  A failing of common sense seems to be inspiring a slide of standards in the most critical areas, and in the face of extreme liabilities.  These liabilities include such things as data breach, identity theft, and unacceptable use avenues due to poor training and information:  ill-advised e-mails or postings to sites about co-workers, friends, families, and inside information regarding workplaces, etc.

It seems standards are out of fashion these days in certain environments.  Requiring adherence to the most common sense practices, and providing protection of systems and data, seems to run counter to having a convivial work environment, in some people’s minds.  Who wants to be a nudge and talk about standards?

Yesterday someone told me about a major university and its failings regarding start of the Fall quarter.  No names – but I’d like to state that it wasn’t Ohio University, Lakeland Community College, nor the Manhattan Institute of Hair Design and Follicle Massage.  Just to be clear.

This particular university had all summer to ensure that workstations were solid, systems and appropriate licensing in place, and that all computer labs and classroom resources were up to snuff.  Did they manage to have a solid position of surety regarding systems, access and performance?  Nah.  How the heck are you going to squeeze all of that into a single summer?

Among other things, there was a licensing problem due to newly installed software:  No one checked things prior to the start of the quarter. 

It’s one thing for a small company, with limited resources – or perhaps IT folks who are a little green – having a basic problem like this.  But universities and schools are supposed to be on some sort of edge given the fact that they’re educating the next generation of people.  Underlying that edge should be a solid foundation of “present” circumstances – some really solid technical enablements and supports in the form of documentation and best practices… common practices.  We’re not building rockets to the moon – we’re just ensuring that networks, systems, and services are solid.

I can’t divulge all of the details regarding the university’s troubles, lest I give away the identity.  But it’s troublesome that an institution of higher learning, which should have a proactive engagement with the present, and a prompt position for the streaming future, can’t manage a simple readiness posture for incoming students and resumption of full-scale business in supporting the Fall quarter.

Any thoughts out there?  What are you seeing and sensing?  Work and school environments are only going to get more robust and technically dependent.  The business-technology weave is going to eat the organization’s lunch, so to speak, if we don’t handle the care and feeding of these environments with the proper maintenance and progressions…

September 9th:  On this day in 1977 the first TRS-80 computer was sold.

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