The Business System Spectator

The Business System Spectator 1

Is Business 2.0 Assisting to Kill From the IT Department? What arranged me off about this post had not been the part about “Enterprise 2.0,” however the part about “killing from the IT department.” I am reading articles like this since I started dealing with IT several decades ago. About every 10 years roughly, some new technology comes along that observers trumpet as so radical and innovative that it will result in nothing significantly less than the loss of life of the corporate IT department.

And each time, IT adapts ultimately, though initially it may resist. As I recall, the first death knell was sounded when PCs arrived. These began turning up in businesses in a huge way in the past due 1970s. At the right time, I was working as a production systems analyst for an oil-field services firm.

I was amid gathering requirements for a custom system that could take care of tooling inventory on the shop floor. Day One, I went out to go to the tool crib in one of our plants and found that my users got already built their own tooling inventory system using a TRS-80 PC from Radio Shack. They said they didn’t need help from corporate IT.

It required more than 10 years–some might say, 15-20 years–for IT to determine how to adjust to the PC revolution. The first big concern was “connectivity.” Users were buying computers, then spending a significant amount of time re-keying data from mainframe-printed reports into PC spreadsheets. So, commercial IT was given the task of connecting them while maintaining the security and integrity of commercial data still. The next challenge was to harness everything that computing power sitting on the desktop, which brought in the era of client-server computing. Centralized systems would maintain master file data, while desktop systems would be used for data evaluation and admittance.

The advantages of the server computer and your client computer would each be utilized where they were strongest. Response time would be faster on the desktop PC since only local control was required, and data integrity would be managed as master documents were held at the server level. Eventually, you’d three-tier (customer, application server, and database server) and n-tier systems. Along with client-server computing, we had to cope with the necessity for graphical consumer interfaces.

As users became accustomed to the Windows GUI in the late 80s and early 90s, they became frustrated with the character-based interfaces of their commercial minicomputer and mainframe systems. Some users, learning Visual Basic on their own, became better PC programmers than those of us in corporate IT. So we’d a whole new group of skills to learn.

But corporate IT ultimately adapted. What corporate IT went through to adapt to the PC revolution was much greater than anything it encounters today in adapting to the presence of Facebook, Twitter, and iPhones. Just round the right time corporate IT figured out how to managed Computers and client-server systems, the Internet changed everything. Again, a new technology offered to enable users, who have been now able to build their own websites and simple web-based applications, bypassing commercial IT. However, the Internet and Web systems ended up being a great benefit to corporate and business IT. The first way it helped is at simplifying the system and design management.

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In truth, client-server was a very cumbersome way to create and control systems, with code sitting down both on the server and on each customer. Web technologies made it possible to produce thin-customer systems, with all business reasoning sitting down at the server tier and the desktop computer used limited to user display.

Web technologies allowed systems to be re-centralized–a return to the host-based computing of the mainframe days, but with GUI. Second, the web managed to get possible to hooking up customers, companions, and suppliers in a way that was easier than it was with the old electronic data interchange (EDI) technologies–the so-called e-business trend.