Why simple IT matters?
As the last ‘blogger’ in the series of 2014 Associates, it seems apt to reflect back on how my concept of IT has shifted since joining Computacenter from a sociological nicety to Darwinist necessity. More specifically; my new (and improved) perception of how IT enables everything!
Of course as a ‘Generation Y’ stereotype, I had a keen sense of how technology and computers were shaping not only how we work, but live our everyday lives (e.g. playing computer games!). However, the pervasive layers of how the IT industry have driven advances in healthcare, education and especially enterprise were largely lost on me. The bounding advancements have occurred in swan-like fashion; seemingly moving effortlessly forward, whilst in reality paddling furiously beneath the surface. But when you step back and try and find perspective in what has occurred over the last couple of decades, I find that the beginning is always a good place to start.
When was the last time anybody actually thought about where the term IT came from? The two words of ‘Information’ & ‘Technology’ do not naturally interlink. The first use of this term was found in an article by Leavitt & Whisler contained in a Harvard Business Journal in 1958. “The branch of technology concerned with the dissemination, processing, and storage of information, esp. by means of computers”. The advances of technology from 1958 to modern-day are beyond comprehension, however, the basic concept of the use of technology to process, store and utilise information is even more relevant now than ever before! We’ve just become better at doing it.
Going back to some of the messaging from Computacenter’s UK Kick Off Conference earlier this year, we have to think of the bigger picture. Core and Edge technologies are simply vehicles which provide information (or data) to the user. This data needs to be stored efficiently, processed quickly, transmitted securely and accessed easily. So why is IT so complex? The true genius behind ground-breaking technological advances are the ones in which the underlying IT complexity is hidden and often missed completely by the users.
For example, let me take you back to Andy Murray’s 2013 Wimbledon Championship triumph, which marked the end of decades of British disappointment. The wiser (or more emotionally-fragile) of us may have been avoiding the Marry/Djokovic final, due to true British pessimism. However, as the excitement of centre-court mounted, spectators in the stands were utilising mobile technology to vent their elation and share the events via social media (#omgmurraywinning). Analytical software monitoring the ‘twitter-sphere’ instantaneously provisioned more compute and storage resources to the BBC.com web servers, dynamically bursting into 3rd party cloud environments. To the typical user; all that preceded was the ability to check the tennis score on the BBC website, however, the underlying SMAC processes that ensured that all information was readily available and easily accessible was far beyond this.
So why does this matter? To maintain focus on how our customers are going to continue to gain value; it seems to me that simplicity will be the best motivator. Whether this manifests as faster ‘tin’, less management or more consumption-based expenditure, customers are looking to us for solutions to drive out complexity. As an associate, I am more than aware of the vast (and seemingly unconquerable) technical depths of the products I am meant to be selling, however, the best advice that I have been given during my 14 months with Computacenter (and it has been evident in several different guises), is that the simple story is often what’s most compelling.
Thanks for reading. We are now passing on the batton to this years intake of Associates.
Line of Business Associate