Feeds

Why do Reg readers deserve the big bucks? Here's why...

Top tech managers take control of first Reg Roundtable

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Reg events The Register recently gathered together some of the great and good in an attempt to work out what is going on in corporate IT. Here's what happened next...

In the aptly named Sandra Blow Room of London's Soho Hotel, my role was to provoke conversation on the subject of IT governance and the structures by which large scale IT is organised, using my standard cross between management consultancy and stand up comedy. Between you and me, getting the conversation going wasn't the hardest 25 quid I've earned from El Reg.

After mentioning "governance" and "project failure" a few times, the IT execs and managers we'd gathered at our round table took control, leaving our dear group editor and myself to just drop in the occasional anecdote to keep them on topic. Being Reg readers, these IT leaders are realistic bordering upon cynical about governance, mirroring Gandhi's view when asked about Western Civilisation that, yes, "it would be a good idea".

So, what did we learn?

The Fear Agenda

It quickly became clear that security has stopped being an obscure "technical problem" and now pervades the way companies are governed, not just managed. Some of that is because of our work at The Register, because like any decent news site we just love horror stories about catastrophic security failures. So the reputation of the whole firm is now at risk and CEOs of big name outfits can suddenly find themselves out of their cushy jobs if they get it wrong enough.

A specifically UK fear is the former cuddly bunnies at the Information Commissioner’s Office. They now have both hunger and teeth, and their fines can go into hundreds of thousands per screwup.

Several of our panelists saw the day coming when IT execs face criminal charges. But so far this hasn't really happened and several felt that the threat of being personally prosecuted was just a random meatgrinder into which you feed the occasional scapegoat.

Register Roundtable at the Soho hotel

Yes, it's not actually a roundtable...

They’re not just worried about data being lost. Data quality consumes a lot of their time since it is coming from so many sources that are often either not easily made consistent but often just wrong.

Bring your own problem

BYOD wasn't at all popular, though the round tablers were divided as to which of its follow-on problems was the worst. One thing that shocked me was that some of them appear to work in organisations where if you set up an IT policy, you have a realistic prospect of it being obeyed.

Everyone agreed you need one, if only to protect your back when the fan is hit.

A clear and present danger is the way so many users are storing data on their own devices. In theory this can be remote-wiped, but the round tablers didn't so much disagree as jeer at trusting this could and would be done. Even if it did happen to work, they feared entering a world where you messed with equipment that didn't belong to you and unsurprisingly they were a lot happier with allowing users to choose from a range of hardware they provided and thus could kill with some confidence.

Terminating employees in general is seen as a real pain these days, now that they may be choosing their own apps and so you can't just block them from the servers and realistically hope they won't walk off with your intellectual property.

Also, the days when it was “your” IP are mostly behind us. Every single one of the IT execs ranging from academia through analytics and retail to banking held serious amounts of data that "probably" belonged to partners as well as their customers. That was clearly one of their biggest governance issues since contracts are often set without IT input. In any case not all of them felt they properly understood the Byzantine issues of multinational contracts and privacy laws. Actually none said they did.

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Special pleading against mass surveillance won't help anyone
Protecting journalists alone won't protect their sources
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Apple's iPhone 6 first-day sales are MEANINGLESS, mutters analyst
Big weekend queues only represent fruity firm's supply
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Bill Gates, drugs and the internet: Top 10 Larry Ellison quotes
'I certainly never expected to become rich ... this is surreal'
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
EMC, HP blockbuster 'merger' shocker comes a cropper
Stand down, FTC... you can put your feet up for a bit
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.