Where’d the information in IT go?

In TFC on July 15, 2010 at 10:30 am

Posted by Tim Harrison

For various reasons, some fiduciary and others hedonistic, I’ve been cruising the job ads for IT people.  Yes, as you might have read in my ‘about’ page, I’m an IT nerd of sorts (please don’t judge me!).

As I trawl through the overwhelming volume of job-chaff, I’m starting to ask myself, “where did the ‘information’ in IT go?”

I’ve seen jobs that want to know if you know how to SSH into and SQL DB with VMWare.  Or perhaps you’re ITIL qualified with a CCNA and MSCE.  Maybe if I could analyse a multi-node LAN/WAN environment with KPIs and SLAs, I’d be right.  Na, too weird I think.  Alternatives in ‘IT’ are to “strategically align the business requirements with the organisational goals and strategies while ensuring client engagement is optimised for enhanced business outcomes.”  Andy even saw a job ad asking for applicants to “straddle” something-or-other between clients and something else?!? What on earth is that about?

So, with all the 1s and 0s piled up on the floor in front of me, I have to ask – where’s the INFORMATION gone?  It’s all about bits and bytes these days and no-one seems to care about the “stuff” that the bits represent.  Sure, fire up your dual redundant active/active secure VPN with SSL enhanced firewall, but what about the information that’s passing through it?  Fine literature, dirty Welsh limericks, life-saving research, book or film reviews.  To hell with that, what about your TTL MTU TCP/IP packet headers?

I’m at a loss to figure out what the point of all this whiz-bang IT “stuff” is when it seems most people have forgotten why we call it INFORMATION technology.  They’re all more interested in the banal minutia of the ‘how’ and have lost sight of the ‘why’ and the ‘what’.

I say this: Facebook should be a photo album (remember those?) shared among friends on a picnic blanket in a park.  Email should be a letter handwritten on nice paper addressed personally.  Online banking should be a charming bank teller asking how you’d like your withdrawal broken up.  SMS should be a pop-in where your friends pop past just to say “Hi” and have a cup of tea.  Reading the news should leave your fingers a little blackened by newsprint ink.  Video conferences should be when you sit around with friends and a coffee to pay out the latest silly offering from the DVD library.

Ah shucks, maybe I’m jaded or getting old or just plain weird.  But just for once, couldn’t we just exchange information rather than bits and bytes?  I’d say maybe I’m being old fashioned, but the reality is that when I hit ‘save’, those words are really going to look like this:

What it all boils down to

What it all boils down to

I’m hitting ctrl-alt-del now and going to talk to a friend… yes, talk.  Geez I’m weird….


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