by Byron Connolly

5 areas of IT that will end soon

Jun 01, 20155 mins
Data CenterIT ManagementProject Management

Former Fortescue Metals CIO, Vito Forte, lists the 5 areas of technology that he believes will soon disappear as corporate IT gets ready for the next wave of disruption.

Forte gave his predictions during a presentation at the CIO Summit in Perth.

1. The end of end-user device management

This includes managed operating environments, standard operating environments and mobile device management.

Forte asked the audience, “Does anyone have any of this stuff work – ever?” He said his children – aged 20 and 22 – like other generation Yers, have no tolerance for devices when they don’t work.

“They are the future workforce. We expend a large amount of effort trying to control the uncontrollable,” he said. “And it doesn’t add any value to the business.”

2. The end of the ‘walled garden’ corporate network

“If you not building for the Internet, what are you doing? Why do we have a corporate network at all?” he asked.

“We seem to have a corporate network which fundamentally, all it seems to do is connect some device that we perceive has to sit within a walled garden environment to the Internet,” he said.

“You can do that without all of that infrastructure and cost and hassle associated with it. Have we really thought about this walled garden and why it exists?”

Forte said that during his previous role as CIO at Fortescue Metals, he worked outside this ‘walled garden’ to make sure people were delivering solutions that actually functioned properly.

“If you live inside a walled garden, you take shortcuts. Security, for instance, is an afterthought – [people] assume that the walls are big, thick and high and [they don’t] have to worry about security,” he said.

Companies also have issues around aggregated access rights and when people spend a long enough time at an organisation, they never lose access rights to many applications, he said.

“We don’t design things to readjust and review and refine that capability,” he said. “We just say, ‘here have access to another file library, another application.’ Ten years later, they’ve still got access to something that they probably shouldn’t have. It’s too hard to solve that issue,” he said.

He said it’s a ‘fantasy and fallacy’ that IT can create global solutions – using identity management as an example – that ‘solve world hunger’. But all they do is create more pain and encourage people to work around them at every opportunity.

“The key message is that if you are not building your applications to be delivered on the Internet, through the Internet and like the Internet, what you are doing?” he asked.

3. The end of the enterprise data centre

“Who wants a data centre?” Forte asked attendees. “Generally if you have a data centre you want to flip it because you’re paying for rack space you’re not really filling,” he said.

“The best data centre to have is not to have one. And nowadays, you can fundamentally drive pretty much all of your capability without actually having one. Most SMEs can exist without actually having anything on-premise,” he said.

“Have you taken an SME-approach to everything that you do or are you living on legacy? Because legacy is fantastic, it keeps us awake at night.”

4. The end of frameworks being used a weapon

Corporate IT has a fantastic ability to build processes and frameworks such as ITIL and SCRUM and there are good reasons for these, Forte said. But he believes these are only valuable if an outcome is derived.

“There’s no value in a framework itself but we use them to say ‘no’, he said. ‘Oh well, they didn’t follow this process.’ Who gives a s**t about the process?

“Does the business care that it doesn’t understand ITIL? It cares about the delivering of an application, it wants data in a particular way, it wants to make decisions and it wants to make money. Last time I looked, implementing a framework doesn’t make money.

“So understand how much of it is actually necessary and drive the value based on the ‘just enough principle’, it’s not about being perfect.”

ITIL is a fantastic framework [but] if organisations tried to work through and implement everything in ITIL, they’ve got a 10-year project, he said.

“What going to happen in the intervening years when you are implementing ITIL?”

5. The end of perimeter/end point security

“Does anyone know where the perimeter is? Is it your phone, is it your customer’s phone? Is it your partner’s or supplier’s end device? So what do you do? How do you protect that? How do you protect the thing that you don’t know about?” Forte asked.

“These are the sorts of things that you really need to understand. Fundamentally it’s the wrong approach if you are trying to manage things that are in constant flux and change – trying to manage the unmanageable.

“Understand what it really is that you are trying to do and focus on it,” he advised.

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Follow Byron Connolly on Twitter:@ByronConnolly