We are in the midst of interesting times. Is there ever a day when the bulk of the dialogue isn’t about the implications of “change”. Now more than any time in the last 25 years the rate of “IT” (Information Technology) change is more likely to fill the average enterprise decision maker with dread rather than the childlike excitement of yesteryear. But is “IT” really as transformational as commonly inferred – is the digital DNA always discussed that underpins modern business and society really that fundamental?
A very important topic but one often only discussed in economics or business schools is one of General Purpose Technologies (GPTs). A GPT and there have been less than 25 identified and universally accepted, is a technology introduction that permeates society then fundamentally transforms a whole economy (the real definition is much much longer than that). If we roll back in time the advent of the steam or the internal combustion engine and also electricity are examples of GPTs that are easy to quantify when based on transformational impact. It should be no surprise that “IT” or Information Technology is also considered a GPT but the in my opinion the current and future resonance of “IT” equips it with the potential to surpass many of the better known GPTs to date by a magnitude (please note, this is a very loose concept as for example without electricity, “IT” doesn’t function).
We have witnessed and been affected by “IT” over the last 40 years to a previously unimaginable degree. However the last ten years has propelled this beyond the realms of science fiction or even the minds of the freest thinking individuals.
We are bordering on an era of IT evolution and advancement potentially tempered only by a lack of imaginative thinking or dare I say it initial financial funding, rather than capability. It now seems virtually anything is possible. And there lies the problem, paradigm or opportunity, the expectations of users / customers of IT are now at a level where they also believe that “anything is possible” and potentially pour scorn on anyone who fails to help them to realise it. This means that not only must “IT” continue to change but so too must the services and solutions providers that deliver “IT” outcomes.
Successful infrastructure product supply and installation services are expected, not optional. Moving forwards the primary “IT” value add is to help individuals or organisations to realise the transformational affect or outcome of an IT solution deployment that is personal to them. This will not only require a different sales and consulting approach from today’s services and solutions providers but also an attitude change from customers who may need to revise how they position or frame the business benefits they seek from any deployed solution.
Never has the “IT” landscape looked more exciting with the promise of the future truly inspiring to an indescribable degree. In summary. if “IT” doesn’t change “IT” stays the same – we know for certain it will change and therefore we MUST all continue to change.
Until next time.
The front page of Today’s Metro highlighted something that the security industry has been calling out for a while – what was once complicated technology is now commonplace in our homes – in our computers, tablets, routers, digital televisions and even domestic appliances such as smart fridges and unfortunately much of it is vulnerable to compromise.
Researchers at Proofpoint and Lancope have identified compromised household appliances being used to send Spam. Should we be worried? Personally I think we should heed this warning – many of these devices are running old operating systems that are open to compromise; something driven by the ongoing drive for value and cost effective computing. This is in all likelihood the tip of the iceberg – Manufacturers need to accept responsibility and more importantly start to develop self healing operating systems that update on demand from trusted sources – let’s hope the industry takes heed and consumers accept what will be more expensive systems in the future.
In a similar vein for a while now I’ve been concerned about the amount of power in our mobile devices. Whilst the UK bucks the trend with a penchant for the seemingly secure Apple operating system, much of Europe favours the Android operating system which has been targeted by criminals for some time. Couple this to the uncapped “all you can eat” internet packages and we have an attack vector much larger than many botnets – I only hope that the mobile network operators are well prepared.
It’s a moot point when you consider that increasingly users trust their phones more than their computers that we suddenly find ourselves in a situation where those devices we trust the most potentially present the biggest threat to our security. This is even more prevalent when we consider the amount of data now traversing business devices – the endpoint is mobilising and organisations are increasingly looking to securely enable and empower employees. In this rapidly changing landscape it’s critical that the right security strategy is deployed.
Computacenter delivers differentiated security solutions – from email and web gateway security solutions to advanced persistent threat mitigation and from desktop to datacenter and network to cloud we have end to end solutions that help maintain the security posture of your organisation.