The evil that IT does and the software silver bullet

We're all happier, more productive users now that the rise of clouds and apps has ended IT's dark rule ... right?

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Or maybe hit the unemployment line. "Oh no!" says our happy band of CEOs. IT won't become irrelevant. Those folks just need to "rethink their role." That's just what I want as a CEO -- a suite of software tools with too few on-staff IT professionals who've all rethought their roles and now don't see a need to manage integration, app delivery, security policy, access, performance, desktop support, and so on and so forth. Just leave all that to the highly knowledgeable and caring $10-per-hour customer support professionals at any number of software startup outfits that don't know about each other or even much care.

Bored with BYOD? Get ready for BYOS

I guess the trend these guys are conveniently inventing will wind up being called BYOS: bring your own software. "BYOD" has been the buzzword du jour for too long now, so it only makes sense that the software guys want to horn in on that action. BYOD sells the message that users want to access their home or personal devices for work and IT simply has to comply. The IT staffers in my day had a number of responses to those requests, usually involving a finger or a slammed door, but maybe today's IT guys have gone soft. Frankly, even if you subscribe to it, the BYOD message can be a little confusing.

Take Sinofsky's alma mater, Microsoft, for example. Microsoft is real big on BYOD. It provides all the back-end server infrastructure, management tools, and front-end device platforms necessary for a BYOD policy, especially if you standardize on Windows 8.1 devices, System Center management, and Windows Server on the back. But, you might ask as your ears begin to bleed, isn't standardizing on one platform the opposite of BYOD? Stop getting caught up in the details, the Microsoft rep will answer. Just look at all the pretty pictures on your new Nokia phone. You are getting very sleepy. ...

I love cloud computing. But I wish that every Tom, Phil, Aaron, and Dustin would stop trying to morph it into whatever whacky invent-a-trend marketing message they need to hawk their startup stuff. Sure, their products are all great examples of cloud services, but asking companies to pay more attention to users' opinions of an interface than what the tool can actually do for the business seems a little ... desperate.

Then again, maybe they have a point. When Windows Azure, Amazon Web Services, or Hoster-to-Be-Named-Later suffer yet another massive outage and all these tools suddenly go dark, CEOs the world over can smile and give their employees that week off. After all, happier employees are more productive, and what could make an employee happier than a paid vacation?

This article, "The evil that IT does and the software silver bullet," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the crazy twists and turns of the tech industry with Robert X. Cringely's Notes from the Field blog, follow Cringely on Twitter, and subscribe to Cringely's Notes from the Underground newsletter.

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