IT Airing of the Grievances.

Today, December 23rd, is Festivus. For those who have lost touch with the popular culture of the 90’s, Festivus was created by Seinfeld character Frank Costanza as an alternative to the traditional wintertime holidays such as Christmas* and New Year’s Day. One of the more well known aspects of Festivus was “The Airing of Grievances” in which participants (in this case the curmudgeonly Frank Costanza) would complain about all the things people had done that bugged them.

In the spirit of Festivus, I present the IT Airing of the Grievances:

  • Giving knowledge workers more data, with raw or anlayzed, doesn’t mean they know how to interpret it. Data can be ambiguous. It is dangerous for businesses to act like more data will mean fewer bad decisions. As an analyst, I see firsthand how data can be misinterpreted and misused. More data does not equal more insight.
  • One mobile messaging app does not rule them all. The mobile messaging market is fragmented into dozens of competing apps which make it impossible to have only one or two on your mobile phone.
  • After years of deploying enterprise social networks into all types and sizes of businesses, the percentage of daily users is still only 12% to 15%. This is troubling for a technology with so much potential that relies on network effects to unlock that potential.
  • Too many companies still don’t know how to leverage social media. Many cannot get past lead generation or brand sentiment to unlock the real potential. This is one area where a lot of politicians are ahead of the curve. That’s kind of scary‚Ķ
  • Companies continue to rely on the cloud more while ignoring its risks. Seriously, given all the cloud service shutdowns this year, why don’t companies have a plan B for their cloud services?
  • Blackberry can’t let go of their handset business. After going up market, Blackberry is not trying to go down market and provide cheap phones to the developing world. Dear Blackberry, give yourself a Festivus gift and allow the handset business to go gently but quickly. You will feel better.
  • Too many partnership announcements, too little value. It’s amazing how many big companies have made big partnership announcements with lots of hoopla and merriment. More amazing is the deafening silence afterwards. Have any of these borne fruit?
  • We have yet to move past responsive design. Designing software that presents a user interface appropriate to a device’s display is the price of entry into the market. Now, we have to have software that adapts to the different ways people use software on different types of devices. Software still doesn’t adapt to the different workflows and unique features of different devices very well.
  • The Internet of Things is getting creepy. There are some devices that should never be network enabled such as toilets which is a real thing. It’s debatable if any consumer device should be internet enabled. Privacy and security concerns for personal information abound already. Do we need the N.S.A. tracking how often we brush our teeth?
  • That the government could tap into private communications without folks like Microsoft and Google knowing is bad enough. That RSA (an EMC company) would help the N.S.A to tap into private data for money is beyond terrible. If they had done so for free, out of patriotic fervor, it would be understandable though still misguided. To allow themselves to be bought off for a measly $10M should send shivers down the spine of every corporate security professional.

Now, that feels great. It’s good to shed oneself of negativity once in a while. Even better, I look forward to finding solutions to some of these problems in the upcoming year. Happy Holidays and enjoy the rest of Festivus.


* Author’s Note: I have nothing against Christmas, New Year’s, Hanukkah, Kwanza, or any other holiday. This is a tongue and cheek look at problems within the IT industry. Anyone who responds with any “War on Christmas” stuff will be subject to ridicule as a humorless, pre-spirits visited, Scrooge.

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