The unfortunate reality is that methods to reduce or eliminate spam have been around for a while, such as whitelisting or ISPs charging a small cost per email, but they're so Draconian they would all but destroy the concept of email. We don't need to throw the baby out with the bathwater, but we can't keep putting our fingers in the dyke and shaking our heads sadly.
A bazillion different "solutions" to this problem revolve around email filtering. For example, greylisting institutes a delay period for unknown senders and causes spam blasts to miss their targets. Meanwhile, good ol' whitelisting and blacklisting add plenty of manual effort and can cause problems with reliable email delivery. But none of those solutions do anything about the vast herds of spam flitting around the Internet, chewing up bandwidth and computing resources the world over. If they work at all, they merely prevent spam from hitting our inboxes, which is a Band-Aid, not a fix.
IT fix No. 7: Virtualized application appliances
Installing a new and expensive line-of-business server application shouldn't require two weeks of training. It should be delivered ready to go, with all the requisite dependencies, patches, and other detritus that commonly accompanies these massive collections of code.
Rather than be saddled with an install DVD and a future filled with hours of watching progress bars scrape their way across a screen, we need a virtual machine that can be imported and fired up immediately. In many cases, those dreary installation procedures are occurring on VMs anyway, so let's skip the middleman. Instead, designate the virtual machine as the default application delivery mechanism rather than a Windows installer or a tarball.
The time, effort, complexity, and support costs that could be saved by more companies taking this approach is significant. That's not to say that there shouldn't be a way to also do a standard installation, but as a default, go with the VM.
IT fix No. 8: IPv6
It's not lost on me that if I'd written this article five years ago, this would definitely have made the list, yet we're not any closer to widespread IPv6 adoption.
Part of the problem is that we've become far too comfortable with our cozy, phone-number length IPv4 addressing. After all, 192.168.1.100 is much simpler to recognize and remember than 3eff:4960:0:1001::68.
It's also true that the vast majority of IT organizations have been fairly OK within their internal reserved IP ranges for the past decade or so. The onus of not just a massive renumbering effort, but required verification that all applications and services will function properly over IPv6, is more than daunting. It's basically a nonstarter for all but the biggest IT budgets.
Thus, the problem with IPv6 is that there's no perceptible benefit for most shops, but a mountain of effort required to get there. When IT budgets are already tight, that's just not going to happen.
But those problems may be overshadowed by the larger problem of disappearing IPv4 address space. This problem isn't as big of a deal as you might think at the moment, but these addresses are being eaten up at an alarming rate, particularly as China extends Internet service to outlying areas. And of course, there's the massive number of Internet-connected mobile devices.
If there's any hope of making a real push for IPv6 throughout the computing world, it has to happen soon. Every day we continue to be fat, dumb, and happy with our IANA private ranges and doing port address translation at the firewall is another day further ensconced in the inebriation of IPv4. That simply cannot scale.