Feeds

Letting users loose on system integration?

Is that really such a good idea?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Mobile application security vulnerability report

Reg Reader Studies There has been a lot of talk in recent times about portal frameworks and other technologies that allow end users to "compose" their own applications and essentially perform their own development and system integration, in the front end at least.

Advocates of Web 2.0 often take this idea to the extreme, and sometimes appear to argue that developers and integration specialists will somehow become redundant as users solve their own application and information access problems.

Cries of "the death of applications" soon follow, motivated by a desire to disrupt the status quo in the software application vendor community by people who object to others making more from the intellectual property they have developed.

Wherever you stand on such ideas, ideals, and arguments, there are a couple of practicalities that need to be considered. The first, which many overlook, is that the majority of users in a business environment simply couldn't be bothered with all this. These are the guys who are not "information workers", to steal a Microsoft label, but people who just turn up in the morning (or at the beginning of their shift) and simply want to get on with their job with the minimum of complication then go home again at the end. With all due respect to the average store man, neither they nor the company are likely to benefit much if the chap starts mashing up the organisation's inventory data with supplier catalogues over the internet.

But even when some kind of development and integration "self service" is appropriate, this is only manageable (from a cost and overhead point view) and safe (from a security and integrity perspective) if the starting point for the process is a set of robust pre-built components or services that have been designed, developed, and tested by IT professionals, whether internal or external.

This whole discussion is particularly relevant to users trying to get information out of systems in order to do their jobs, whether that be transactional level data to investigate a customer service query or performance statistics to manage some aspect of the business overall.

Recent research into information related risk suggests that despite lots of investment in various categories of information management solutions, fragmented and inconsistent data is still a major problem in many organisations.

The user self-service approach may obviously have a place here, but what are IT departments doing to enable this and/or other implement mechanisms to deal with the problem of information access, particularly across multiple sources and systems?

Good question, and in fact one we would like your input on. We are trying to gather as many views and ideas as we can then we'll summarise insights for The Register readership in general – perhaps a more community form of self help.

So, if you have experience in information management and delivery, or are a non-specialist who can help us understand the nature and extent of some of the challenges out there, we would really appreciate your help with the latest Reg reader survey.

Click here to go there now. ®

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.