Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Citizenville: Newsom Argues Against Bureaucracy, Swipes At IT Departments

samzenpus posted about a year and a half ago | from the read-all-about-it dept.

Government 173

Nerval's Lobster writes "Gavin Newsom, former mayor of San Francisco and current lieutenant governor of California, argues in his new book Citizenville that citizens need to take the lead in solving society's problems, sidestepping government bureaucracy with a variety of technological tools. It's more efficient for those engineers and concerned citizens to take open government data and use it to build apps that serve a civic function—such as Google Earth, or a map that displays crime statistics—than for government to try and provide these tools itself. But Newsom doesn't limit his attacks on government bureaucracy to politicians; he also reserves some fire for the IT departments, which he views as an outdated relic. 'The traditional IT department, which set up and maintained complex, centralized services—networks, servers, computers, e-mail, printers—may be on its way out,' he writes. 'As we move toward the cloud and technology gets easier to use, we'll have less need for full-time teams of people to maintain our stuff.' Despite his advocacy of the cloud and collaboration, he's also ambivalent about Wikileaks. 'It has made government and diplomacy much more challenging and ultimately less honest,' he writes at one point, 'as people fear that their private communications might become public.' Nonetheless, he thinks WikiLeaks and its ilk are ultimately here to stay: 'It is happening, and it's going to keep happening, and it's going to intensify.' In the end, he feels the benefits of collaboration and openness outweigh the drawbacks." Keep reading for the rest of Nick's review.Gavin Newsom has enjoyed quite a career in government: after serving two terms as mayor of San Francisco, he became lieutenant governor of California. Maintaining the status quo of our current political system, one could argue, is in his best interest. Yet in his new book Citizenville (co-written with Lisa Dickey, who’s collaborated with a number of famous people on their books), Newsom argues that government should take a backseat to citizens solving society’s problems via collaboration and technology.

“We have to disenthrall ourselves, as Abraham Lincoln used to say, of the notion that politicians and government institutions will solve our problems,” he writes at one point. “The reality is, we have to be prepared to solve our own problems.” The government structure that facilitates such troubleshooting, he adds, “makes use of social media, networks, peer-to-peer engagement, and other technological tools.” In other words, government should open up its vast datasets so that armies of developers and engineers can transform that data into software we can all use.

According the book’s thesis, it’s more efficient for those engineers and concerned citizens to take open government data and use it to build apps that serve a civic function—such as Google Earth, or a map that displays crime statistics—than for government to try and provide these tools itself. It’s easier for citizens to engage with their representatives via Twitter and online chat rooms than gather in a physical room, where voices can be shouted down. He acknowledges that collaboration and technology has its limits: there will always be a need for elected leaders to help manage things, and nobody wants every bit of private data open to widespread scrutiny (to his credit, Newsom acknowledges his own issues with making his official schedule and meetings public).

It’s even possible, he suggests, to make civic involvement look more like “Farmville” or an online game—the “Citizenville” of the title. While he positions this idea as more of a metaphor than something that should be pushed into a reality, he repeatedly suggests that a “mashup of gaming and civic engagement,” powered by “real physical rewards,” could get people to interact more fully with their communities.

But there’s also a significant threat to this vision of supreme interconnectedness: government bureaucracy, which moves slowly and hates releasing anything—such as statistical data—that might cause politicians embarrassment.

“Our government is clogged with a dense layer of bureaucracy, a holdover from an earlier era that adds bloat and expense,” Newsom writes. “But technology can get rid of that clay layer by making it possible for people to bypass the usual bureaucratic morass.” Social networks have made interaction with government a two-way street, forcing politicians to listen to constituent concerns well before the next Election Day.

Newsom doesn’t limit his attacks on government bureaucracy to politicians; he also reserves some fire for the IT departments, which he views as an outdated relic. “The traditional IT department, which set up and maintained complex, centralized services—networks, servers, computers, e-mail, printers—may be on its way out,” he writes. “When the computer revolution began, IT departments were truly needed, as people had no idea how to set up and use the new technologies infiltrating their work space.”

Things these days are different, he argues: “As we move toward the cloud and technology gets easier to use, we’ll have less need for full-time teams of people to maintain our stuff.”

Newsom was mayor, of course, when city network engineer Terry Childs locked down San Francisco’s FiberWAN fiber-optic network and refused to give up the password. Freezing the network also stopped government emails and payroll. After days of outside contractors trying—and failing—to break into the system, Newsom finally had to march into Childs’ jail cell and practically beg him to surrender the 28-digit code. Whether that experience slanted Newsom against IT departments in general is hard to tell, but it’s clear from the book that he’s embraced cloud services as the way of the future.

That being said, Newsom does believe that online collaboration and sharing have their limits as forces for good. He’s not the biggest fan of WikiLeaks. “It has made government and diplomacy much more challenging and ultimately less honest,” he writes at one point, “as people fear that their private communications might become public.” Nonetheless, he thinks WikiLeaks and its ilk are ultimately here to stay: “It is happening, and it’s going to keep happening, and it’s going to intensify.” Privacy isn’t dead, but it’s definitely on life support.

Newsom also isn’t a starry-eyed ingénue: he knows that bureaucracy is firmly baked into how we do things, and he knows that all these shiny technological tools won’t necessarily make government more efficient overnight. However, he’s also relentlessly optimistic in technology’s ability to bring about change—even if that change proves detrimental to our current system.

You can purchase Citizenville: How to Take the Town Square Digital and Reinvent Government from amazon.com. Slashdot welcomes readers' book reviews -- to see your own review here, read the book review guidelines, then visit the submission page.

cancel ×

173 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Hah (4, Insightful)

schneidafunk (795759) | about a year and a half ago | (#42863295)

Leave it to a politician to explain how the IT field is going to disappear. "As we move toward the cloud and technology gets easier to use", and who supports these technologies Mr. Mayor?

Re:Hah (2, Interesting)

geekboybt (866398) | about a year and a half ago | (#42863357)

He's not saying it will disappear, but that it's changing. IT jobs will continue to exist, but they'll be moving to service providers rather than being kept in-house.

And, frankly, this makes sense - if you pay provider X to host your mail server, you're paying them for both the hardware needs (which they can buy in bulk because they're bigger than you) and their expertise (as they're spending their days exclusively maintaining mail servers, while you may be building a webserver one day and fixing a printer the next, forcing your knowledge to be more general.

Re:Hah (5, Informative)

jedidiah (1196) | about a year and a half ago | (#42863465)

That's great. Trade people who work for you for people who don't work for you at all. They have their own boss and interests that completely conflict with yours. Unless you're really good a negotiating contracts with companies much larger than your own, you are likely just going to get screwed over.

Trade your IT department for one which is much larger and even less responsive that has a contractual firewall and a corporate air gap separating it from you.

Re:Hah (4, Insightful)

geekboybt (866398) | about a year and a half ago | (#42863597)

You don't have to trade the whole department. But instead of hiring 5 administrators with various levels of expertise, you can hire 2 or 3 and let the experts deal with their systems.

As for those other people? Of course they're not working for you. But they're working for their bosses who are working for your business. Believe it or not, there are companies out there whose sole purpose in life is not to screw you over. Trust is earned - let them earn yours.

Re:Hah (5, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#42863783)

They are working for your business and 10 others. They have no incentive to treat you any better, nor do they have any need to do better than the 4 hour response time or whatever the SLA says. The moment supporting you costs more than you pay forget about it.

Not only do they have those employees but they also need to make a profit on them. So it will not be cheaper either.

Re:Hah (5, Insightful)

heypete (60671) | about a year and a half ago | (#42864643)

Not only do they have those employees but they also need to make a profit on them. So it will not be cheaper either.

Google Apps costs $5/user/month (or $50/user/year if prepaid for the year) for a whole bunch of useful services (e.g. mail, calendar, sync+sharing, etc.). There's plenty of other companies that provide similar services at generally similar price points.

I'm not really sure how any reasonable company can provide a comparable service "in house" for less money. Buying physical servers is expensive. Having trained staff configure them in a way that's geographically redundant, fault-tolerant, and scalable is expensive. Operating costs like electricity, connectivity, maintenance, upgrades, etc. are expensive. Spam is annoying for users and can consume staff time and energy, not to mention server resources. Google (or other similar services) has considerably more expertise in building and maintaining such systems than most corporate IT departments. Economies of scale make it more efficient for them to provide service to many business customers than having businesses each setup their own internal mail systems.

By outsourcing relatively common, standard things like email and calendar, business IT departments can focus on more "core" things that relate to their specific business. A university I used to work for outsourced ~35,000 student email accounts to Google Apps, freeing up considerable IT resources which could then be used for more "core" university purposes like high-performance computing for research rather than having to deal with email. For academic institutions Google offers Google Apps at no cost, which is a major perk -- even with the paid services for business there's still a lot of room for cost savings and other advantages.

Are there concerns about letting a third-party host important business infrastructure? Yes, absolutely. Are there benefits to such outsourcing? Yes. Should administrators seriously weigh the pros and cons of such outsourcing? Again, yes.

Cloud (4, Insightful)

fyngyrz (762201) | about a year and a half ago | (#42864711)

You have to be very naive to trust your data to "the cloud."

So I doubt that anyone significant is moving to it. For the clueless hordes on Faceplant, already accustomed to handing over everything about themselves, maybe so... but the people who actually run things, and do big things... they'll be keeping their data where they have control over it.

They don't trust it to the IT department, either. They're more likely to run, or own, the IT department. And they have your data. But you don't have theirs.

Re:Cloud (3, Insightful)

erp_consultant (2614861) | about a year and a half ago | (#42865125)

+1

I've been around long enough to see fads come and go. This "cloud" crap that we keep hearing about is just that...another fad. I can see some small and even medium sized companies embracing cloud computing...for a limited set of tasks. I work almost exclusively with large companies and none of them, and i mean none, are ready to dump their internal IT staff to just throw it up into the "cloud" and hope everything works out. There is simply too much at stake for them.

With any cloud based software you are trading power for convenience. You simply cannot customize cloud software the same way you can on premise software. Nearly every big company I have worked with does things a little bit differently than the next big company. So when it comes to mission critical applications, they are either going to build it in house or they will buy something that they can customize to fit their needs. And if it means they have to spend a lot of money to do that then so be it...shit needs to get done.

Riddle me this: if you were the CIO of Huge-Company-X would you be willing to risk the entire business, not to mention your career and reputation, to some flavor of the month cloud solution? No fucking way. If it's me I'm keeping my data in house where I have control of data security and things are done on MY schedule, not the vendor's schedule.

Re:Cloud (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42865595)

i suppose you don't keep your money in a bank either?

Re:Hah (4, Interesting)

jbolden (176878) | about a year and a half ago | (#42865563)

Universities in terms of functions like email are relatively standard and easy. It is easy to provide 35k students with email in house or out of house. Consider though the complexity of courseware, experimental labs, custom data sets and manipulation for research studies, the medical school and HIPAA / billing... What you are really saying is outsource these least complex 10%.

Re:Hah (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42864791)

Because economies of scale never exist anywhere.

And it's always best practice to outsource your mission-critical functions to external providers.

Thanks for all that insight, I look forward to auditing your MBA program.

Re:Hah (2)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about a year and a half ago | (#42864803)

Ya so far I haven't heard any real IT outsourcing success stories. I mean small shops that don't have the resources/need for internal staff hire others to do IT work and that makes sense. But big shops that outsource it do not seem to have a good time. It ends up not being cheaper, service is worse, etc, etc.

Maybe thinks will change but I doubt it since the whole thing with any kind of service isn't so much technology but people.

Re:Hah (1)

dnahelicase (1594971) | about a year and a half ago | (#42865249)

I cringe when I hear of small shops that host their own email. I've seen vets and dentists that run their own outdated, unpatched, backup-deficient exchange servers. Even for companies that have 50-100 people, outsourcing email can be a very good practice. It's cheap, relatively secure, and has a professional team behind it. Once you get above 100 people or so, have a real IT crew and budget, you have to really think about the cloud.

When it goes down, there's basically nobody to call, and if MS or Google decides that you are going to change platforms or security settings, there's really nothing you can do about it.

Re:Hah (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42865077)

They are working for your business and 10 others. They have no incentive to treat you any better, nor do they have any need to do better than the 4 hour response time or whatever the SLA says.

When the interface between your company and your service provider is standardized, you can change providers easily. They have incentive to treat you better than their competitors, because if not you will take your business elsewhere.

Not only do they have those employees but they also need to make a profit on them. So it will not be cheaper either.

There are economies of scale here. One data center hosting storage for 1000 companies is going to require far fewer employees than 1000 separate IT departments.

Re:Hah (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#42865515)

There is no such standardized interface. If you are lucky you can download your users mailbox backup one at a time by hand and load that at the new provider. Then use something like imapsync to sync them. Provided they give you imap access. It will be a huge pain to switch providers and they know it. This will impact how they treat you.

At some point you already have similar economies of scale. Also you get direct access to those folks, unlike the outsourced staff.

If you have less than 100 workers go for it, over that and it may well be better done in house.

Re:Hah (1)

mabinogi (74033) | about a year and a half ago | (#42865195)

nor do they have any need to do better than the 4 hour response time or whatever the SLA says

Wow, if outsourcing can get us 4 hour response time, how quickly can we do it?

Re:Hah (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#42865469)

Sounds like you work for a huge company.

In my world I have a 1 hour response time max and 4 hour fixed or good reason why not window. Some of the big companies we deal with only make firewall changes once a week, and if they screw it up your are waiting until next week.

I mentioned that because we looked to solve a staffing shortage once via contract company. We wanted a 1 hour response time, 4 was the best they offered and it cost more than hiring another worker.

Re:Hah (1)

curunir (98273) | about a year and a half ago | (#42865531)

Not only do they have those employees but they also need to make a profit on them. So it will not be cheaper either.

Believe it or not, when you get to the scale of, say, Google, you can make money off the employees and still offer service more cheaply than an in-house team. There are privacy issues to consider, but the economies of scale are definitely there that it can be cheaper.

And those service providers also don't hold the passwords for all the routers and servers hostage because of a dispute with their superiors and agree to give the passwords directly to the mayor only after being arrested. Isolated incident? Perhaps. But the author of the book was the mayor in that fiasco, so it makes sense that he'd feel the way he does about in-house IT.

Re:Hah (1)

dvice_null (981029) | about a year and a half ago | (#42864633)

> there are companies out there whose sole purpose in life is not to screw you over.

I think you might find this study interesting:
"THE INFLUENCE OF ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE ON SOFTWARE QUALITY: AN EMPIRICAL CASE STUDY":
http://research.microsoft.com/pubs/70535/tr-2008-11.pdf [microsoft.com]

Summary: organizational distance between employees is best known way to predict bugs in a software project. It is even better than code coverage, complexity or pre-release bugs. In best case scenario all employees work for the same boss and you get best quality. In worst case scenario they work for different companies and you get the worst quality.

Re:Hah (4, Interesting)

Holi (250190) | about a year and a half ago | (#42864097)

Because of these exact issues we are currently moving our mail back in house this year.

Re:Hah (5, Insightful)

SoothingMist (1517119) | about a year and a half ago | (#42864345)

That is exactly why the old main-frame days came to an end. People were tired of having to depend on anyone who did not report to them. Contracts meant nothing. Outsiders always have their own agenda and your mission and goals take a back seat to that. The cloud is nothing more than a return to the days of the main-frame. Bean counters really do think they will save money by centralizing services in the hands of third parties.

Re:Hah (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42865397)

He's arguing for trading general-purpose employees for service providers that are very specialized and more experienced in that specialization. It's not a terrible argument since those service providers will get economies of scale that can make it cheaper and more feature-rich to host with them.

You might also remember that Terry Childs was part of his IT department, so his position against governments maintaining their own IT might be colored by his experience.

economies of scale (1)

Dareth (47614) | about a year and a half ago | (#42865683)

Yes, they get the economies of scale, while killing the supply of trained local competitors. Do you think they will share these economies with their customers?
Big contractor shops have economies of scale. Does this mean cheaper rates to hire them?

Re:Hah (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42865713)

On the extreme end, trade people who are legally bound by NDAs and even criminal laws for people who can stick every bit of your stored data on a BitTorrent link, and have zero accountability.

Even with an air-tight contract, all it takes is a bankruptcy, and the servers of a cloud provider (with the data on them) is free to the highest bidder. Yes, in theory they might get wiped, but lets be real: A "mkfs" or "format" isn't going to do much, and even a large SAN on the auction block with all its LUNs dropped has data that can still be recovered given a price. Once company classified data is in the hands of another place via transfer of the physical hardware by legal means, the trade secret status is gone. Secret chemical reaction to extract 5% more yield than the competition? Public domain now. Accounts payable and customer info? Someone will be seeding the torrent.

Give me a break. The cloud has its uses, especially combined with encryption APIs so the data gets locked down before it flies out the doors. However, it won't be replacing the data center anytime soon.

What will happen is that data centers will end up becoming a single data "rack" in a cooled closet, because companies will need less hardware. Essentially a company would need the network appliance (IDS/IPS/routing/switching/site blocking/auditing), an E-mail appliance (Exchange + antispam/antimalware), a SAN appliance, and blades for VMs for everything else. One can see this with the POWER7+ machines how one P780 can accomplish a lot of tasks with LPARs. Similar with Oracle and LDOMs.

He'll like this for five minutes (4, Informative)

swb (14022) | about a year and a half ago | (#42863721)

Gavin Newsom is a big, swinging dick in San Francisco city government and he gets what he wants from his IT department, rÃpidamente.

Once all his shit is outsourced to some "cloud provider", he's nothing more than yet another adulterer in San Francisco, just another entry in a vast database and he will NOT have his service expectations met.

And then he'll have another IT department.

Re:He'll like this for five minutes (1)

hrvatska (790627) | about a year and a half ago | (#42864249)

Gavin Newsom is a big, swinging dick in San Francisco city government and he gets what he wants from his IT department

Newsom might be a big, swinging dick, but he hasn't been in SF city government for several years.

The whore model of work. (1)

sethstorm (512897) | about a year and a half ago | (#42863745)

So you propose a model of work that is not unlike prostitution.

Service providers only exist to help companies screw over workers.

Re:The whore model of work. (1)

fyngyrz (762201) | about a year and a half ago | (#42864747)

You clearly know very little about prostitution.

Perhaps you're thinking of "government."

Re:Hah (1)

jellomizer (103300) | about a year and a half ago | (#42864499)

You assuming the IT job is just keeping an Email Server running. Sure we can could the email, but this allows the IT guy more time to focus on enhancing business operations.

Re:Hah (2)

jbolden (176878) | about a year and a half ago | (#42865513)

Lets take your example of mail. There are 2 aspects to it:

-- Complexity of getting mail to work. That's been steadily decreasing.
-- Complexity of policy regarding mail. Thing like storage, retention, information retrieval... That's been steadily increasing
-- Complexity of integrating mail with new systems. That's the real problem with a generic cloud solution. As soon as you bring in something that needs more than a basic API someone has to write middleware. That middleware then becomes part of the company's custom infrastructure. If there are 6 services connected to that middleware which have c1, c2... c6 chance of changing each year the chance the middleware has to change is:
1-(1-c1)(1-c2)...(1-c6) which gets fairly close to 100%.

Re:Hah (1)

jellomizer (103300) | about a year and a half ago | (#42864473)

I am a supporter for Cloud Technology. However it is not the best tool for every job.

IT job outside of all computer stuff is to support workflow.
There are some parts of a Government/Companies/Not For Profit workflow that works nearly the same as everyone else, or at least across its organization. However Every Organization is different and it does somethings that is better or differently then the others, otherwise it isn't useful, and should just be condensed into one organization.

Because every organization has a degree of Uniqueness you need a Skilled IT department to account for the differences in Work Flow, Cloud systems are not profitable if they need to do too much customization to their service for every organization, or they will be more expensive then having your own IT staff.

A good IT Department should be so Each day is unique, if you are doing the same thing every day, than you are doing your job wrong. The job for computers and software is to do the same thing everyday. A cloud solution is good for a lot of organization who do the same, same things as other organizations. However there is stuff that is unique and they need an IT department to keep what is different flowing.

Re:Hah (1)

multimediavt (965608) | about a year and a half ago | (#42864631)

Leave it to a politician to explain how the IT field is going to disappear. "As we move toward the cloud and technology gets easier to use", and who supports these technologies Mr. Mayor?

No shit. This was a bit dumb too:

It's more efficient for those engineers and concerned citizens to take open government data and use it to build apps that serve a civic function

Oh, you mean like that newspaper in New York did posting the locations of everyone with a registered handgun? Yeah, that went over well! This guy is a COMPLETE idiot.

Re:Hah (1)

lennier (44736) | about a year and a half ago | (#42864695)

Leave it to a politician to explain how the IT field is going to disappear. "As we move toward the cloud and technology gets easier to use",

Explain it to the politicians like this: Outsourcing your corporate IT needs to The Cloud is the information equivalent of outsourcing your beef needs to Tesco.

You might think that not having to pony up the cash yourself means it's a sure thing, but if you don't know your provider's track record, it could turn into a shambles.

Re:Hah (1)

dgatwood (11270) | about a year and a half ago | (#42865303)

You might think that not having to pony up the cash yourself means it's a sure thing, but if you don't know your provider's track record, it could turn into a shambles.

I see what you did there.

Re:Hah (1)

bobaferret (513897) | about a year and a half ago | (#42864737)

Amazingly I had this conversation just last week with a number of politicians and their staffers. There is currently a trend in the govt sector to believe that they will be able to live with little or no IT staff, and just maintain everything themselves. This includes discussions of a magic future world where there is drag and drop workflow tools, and and the courts use CRM software and the cloud for everything. They really need to stop reading the BS sent from Oracle and IBM et. al. You're always going to need the person who can un-jam the printer NOW, and restart the router NOW, and find the unplugged network cable NOW, modify this db table NOW. You're also always going to need the person who actually knows your field, and and can help implement efficiencies and process management for YOU, to solve YOUR data needs. I think the government forgets about personalization to their various needs. They tend to assume that everything they do, when calling for RFPs will, be exactly like the folks in the next govt body over.. aka state or county or whatever. They forget that analysts/programmers and IT are there to make everything work for their specific situation, and to be able to do it with the least amount of downtime and the greatest amount of efficiency for that agency and it's constituents.

It's a dangerous path they're on... again.... but they will learn... again... Every eight to twelve years it's like this as people retire, and new ones get elected...

Re:Hah (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about a year and a half ago | (#42864923)

You don't realize just how bad government IT is.

They already send out all work for RFP anyhow. Now they have to play politics with their internal IT staff before they are allowed to send out the RFP. Bribe them with new perks to not complain about not being allowed to _not_ do the work in house while saying they are studying the problem.

Re:Hah (1)

avandesande (143899) | about a year and a half ago | (#42864763)

Not to mention that there will be a host of people you will need to configure, install packages admin permissions, develop apps. etc. Maybe you won't be plugging things in or managing virtual machines but there is plenty that will still need to be done.

IT Departments (2)

Great Big Bird (1751616) | about a year and a half ago | (#42863307)

So the more we rely on cloud services, the less we need full time people to maintain them? BWHAHAHAHAHA!

Re:IT Departments (2)

TrippTDF (513419) | about a year and a half ago | (#42863471)

IT departments won't go away, but it will be less common for a small or medium sized business to have dedicated IT people, because the services the business relies on will not need full time people.

For example, the onsite maintenance and administration time of Google Apps is much, much lower than using Microsoft Exchange. Google has an army of people maintaining the servers, but the end business doesn't have to incur this cost.

Re:IT Departments (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42863671)

No, the more we rely on cloud services the less full time people we need to maintain IT infrastructure. A big cloud provider will have far more efficient policies and procedures in place to maintain servers and infrastructure than a small company with 25 people where someone is managing these things in additional to doing whatever other job they normally fill (and likely only paying attention to it when something goes wrong).

Re:IT Departments (3, Insightful)

skids (119237) | about a year and a half ago | (#42863735)

As of this moment 3 of our core systems people have been in an all day meeting with outside consultants hired to help them with a task which would not exist but for arbitrary the whims of a cloud service provider.

Those seeking job security in local IT shops should welcome our new cloud-based overlords.

Re:IT Departments (2)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | about a year and a half ago | (#42865181)

This. Also, larger firms have started further specialisation and outsources specific IT project tasks to service providers. My client hires test teams, infrastructure teams, architecture teams (partly employees as well), security expert teams, networking experts, migration teams, project management teams (no kidding).... so any IT project, even rather small ones, now have to involve 5 or more teams from various vendors. The communication and process overhead is staggering. On traditional small projects your overhead might be 20%, now it easily is upward of 500% (yes, 5x the actual productive effort).

Well, it's been said before that managers prefer predictability over quality and even over cost (predictable mediocrity), but from what I can see this approach to projects offers no advantage... except perhaps accountability, as everything down to the last nut and bolt is discussed, agreed, planned, and documented. Sounds good? To some it does... but it's those same ones who keep wondering why we fail to be innovative or get even the simplest little upgrades done in a reasonable timeframe.

Just shut up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42863317)

more anti-bureaucracy sludge. That poor horse must be FLAT by now.

Re:Just shut up (1)

alexander_686 (957440) | about a year and a half ago | (#42863397)

Except it is coming from a liberal insider, not a libertarian outsider, so the details and reasoning vary. It might point towards common ground so we can grow into something better than the current sludge we have now.

Re:Just shut up (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42863533)

That's all fine and well. I just want for he and his ilk to keep in mind that they're the ones crying about not enough STEM education while at the same time making moves to board up shops that hire STEM employees. It's pretty discouraging. Maybe we can all just become politicians since they don't seem to mind high overhead and low results on the administrative levels of government.

Re:Just shut up (1)

alexander_686 (957440) | about a year and a half ago | (#42863871)

I want my tax dollars spend on things that bring value, not for make work jobs for STEMs. If “the cloud” can offer services cheaper then why not do it? I am sure there are reasons but creating government jobs is not one of them.

Re:Just shut up (1)

Boronx (228853) | about a year and a half ago | (#42864753)

I disagree. One thing you can say about the cold war is that it produced a lot of good, experienced engineers and scientists. I say, more government handouts for them, not less. Just make sure they are actually doing something.

Re:Just shut up (1)

alexander_686 (957440) | about a year and a half ago | (#42865471)

I don’t think you disagree.

Those STEMs were engaged in cutting edge research – often in basic science which is one area that the private sector does a very poor job. They were doing real work and I am all for that.

Having 5 STEMs keep up a e-mail server when you only need 2? How is that going to advance the economy? Sure, you may have a patent clerk you invents special relativity – but that is the exception.

Re:Just shut up (1)

Culture20 (968837) | about a year and a half ago | (#42864921)

If âoethe cloudâ can offer services cheaper then why not do it?

Security. That's just the first thing that comes to mind. Cheaper is rarely better or even the same.

Re:Just shut up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42864697)

You really think IT is STEM?

Re:Just shut up (1)

epyT-R (613989) | about a year and a half ago | (#42864001)

so because he's a liberal that means his perspectives are good..and if he was a libertarian, they'd be bad? what kind of rationale is that?

Re:Just shut up (1)

hondo77 (324058) | about a year and a half ago | (#42864127)

I think you missed the word "insider".

Re:Just shut up (1)

alexander_686 (957440) | about a year and a half ago | (#42864479)

I think you missed my point.

If a Libertarian (and I consider myself a pragmatic libertarian) were to say this then it would be the same old thing. Not saying it’s wrong – just not advancing a new argument.

However, if a liberal is saying this – that is new. And if the left and the right can agree on something – well – that is new and news – and worth exploring.

Politicians are becoming redundant (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42863423)

There are too many of them and they need to be sacked en mass. Leave one or two of those who can actually come up with ideas to progress society forwards. This goes doubly for political and financial commentators who have a history of being as god as a toss of a coin. Sack 'em all.

Re:Politicians are becoming redundant (1)

mabinogi (74033) | about a year and a half ago | (#42865235)

So you're advocating for less representation, not more?

Or do you think you can go all the way and switch to a direct democracy? Which, logistics aside, would turn every voting age citizen into a politician....

To the cloud! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42863429)

So we are supposed to take technology advice from the same guy who allowed Terry Child's to have so much control that he was able to shutdown government operations? Yeah, let's go ahead put that data in the cloud. That will solve the problem.

Trying to keep an open mind (5, Insightful)

bitslinger_42 (598584) | about a year and a half ago | (#42863457)

I know it's tough to remain objective in situations like this. I've been in some form of IT support or another for the better part of 20 years now, so this emotionally feels like an attack on me and my way of life. I'm trying to remain objective and consider his proposal, but damned if it doesn't sound silly. Servers don't run themselves, even when (especially when) they're in the cloud, and SOMEONE has to be around to help users when their laptop stops working. It's simply not realistic to expect secretaries, accountants, etc. to maintain deep technical understanding of their computers in addition to the deep understanding necessary for their respective fields. Don't get me started on expecting grandmothers to self-support!

I'm sure IT support will change as a result of cloudification, but I also suspect that there won't be much of a net cost or headcount change, just a shift in how support is provided and where the resources reside. Companies using the cloud will have fewer server admins, but will most likely need more systems architects to manage the proliferation of interfaces and to ensure that whatever is built provides sufficient performance, cost, and stability for their customer base. Where these highly-experienced individuals with deep knowledge of the business will come from without the entry-level server admin jobs I have no idea, but I guess that's why I'm not a manager with a corner office.

Re:Trying to keep an open mind (5, Interesting)

delcielo (217760) | about a year and a half ago | (#42863885)

I agree with you completely, and for the record I am an IT manager with a corner... cube.

The benefits of cloud are not typically financial. For some small companies they can be, but not if you are of any significant size. The cost of a given cloud virtual machine is much higher than the cost of a local virtual machine if you already have any kind of server infrastructure. When I divide out the labor, data center costs, storage, backup, etc. I find it costs about 5 times more on average to pay for a cloud server, assuming you're using one of the leaders in the cloud provider space than to pay for your own VM.

That extra 400 percent cost can go a long way to buying your own scalability. After all, it buys the cloud vendor scalability.

I think the perfect fit for cloud, outside of the above mentioned small business, is in the 3rd party app space. It makes sense to me for vendors to offer hosted solutions in the cloud, instead of dealing with each client's personal hardware choice, configuration standard, etc. I'm a big fan of cloud in that regard, but too often it's just a stupid buzzword.

Re:Trying to keep an open mind (2)

thoughtlover (83833) | about a year and a half ago | (#42864085)

Yes, I've worked in IT for the better part of 20 years, too, and I can say that, even in the realm of education, the worst bureaucracy is HR. Plain and simple, they make hiring qualified personnel almost impossible. In the 'old days' before the HR department, new employees were interviewed by the department's supervisor that needed that person. Regarding managers, the ones that are truly effective, and reduce bureaucracy, are the ones that stand up for their employees and assist them with their duties rather than sabotaging their work/department. Those are the managers that deserve a corner office, IMO.

Re:Trying to keep an open mind (1)

Bengie (1121981) | about a year and a half ago | (#42864647)

Around here, HR shows prospective employees around, but our dept sends in our supervisor and two programmers to interview. HR only does very basic filtering and lets our department handle the rest.

Any who says IT Departments are going away.... (5, Insightful)

bodland (522967) | about a year and a half ago | (#42863461)

Knows nothing to very little of IT. Most users think data moves about rainbow colored moonbeams farted out by hyper intelligent unicorns.

“When the computer revolution began, IT departments were truly needed, as people had no idea how to set up and use the new technologies infiltrating their work space.” Change that to:

“When the computer revolution was mature, IT departments were still truly needed, as people had no idea how to set up and use the new technologies infiltrating their work space.”

Re:Any who says IT Departments are going away.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42863853)

Most users think data moves about rainbow colored moonbeams farted out by hyper intelligent unicorns.

I disagree. Most users think that great god will come from the sky, take away everything, and make-a everybody feel high.

Re:Any who says IT Departments are going away.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42864013)

Actually I believe most of them think data moves through a series of tubes.

Re:Any who says IT Departments are going away.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42864147)

It does!

Re:Any who says IT Departments are going away.... (0)

logjon (1411219) | about a year and a half ago | (#42864549)

The kind of people who say this shit are the same kind of people who tell me "I should take a class so I can do your job."

The nature of bureaucracy will try to stop this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42863523)

The very nature of a bureaucracy is to expand itself by limiting your actions and forcing certain non-productive activities upon you.

Money on the table.... (2)

tnk1 (899206) | about a year and a half ago | (#42863569)

Given the benefits of having all that data, I wonder if companies would be quick to hand over their ability to control and monetize their business data so quickly to cloud providers.

However, there is certainly an argument for most services eventually being hosted in some way, by providers, but in the end, if feels a lot like the managed host providers who won't let you even see your equipment when it is installed, don't let you make changes, and charge you through the nose for adjustments.

In the end, I think that the best solution may be to take the commodity parts of the infrastructure and move them to the cloud providers, but maintain a small stable of experts in the IT needs of your particular field on staff to interface with the providers. That calls for the minimizing of IT staffing in-house, but not it's complete reduction to project management.

Gavin Newsom is a Democrat (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42863621)

If he really thinks "citizens need to take the lead in solving society's problems, sidestepping government bureaucracy," he has a funny way of showing it, since he and Jerry Brown have presided over an unprecedented increase in the size and scope of California's state government, despite the state being essentially bankrupt if you add in all the unfunded liabilities for outrageous public sector union pensions [city-journal.org] .

If you're looking for more efficient government, you might want to look to Texas rather than California.

Re:Gavin Newsom is a Democrat (1, Interesting)

Viewsonic (584922) | about a year and a half ago | (#42864307)

Not really. Texas is in a lot of trouble as well. They've effectively removed all taxes and have had to rely on federal handouts to make the payments needed to keep functioning. They've had to literally shutter nursing homes because they can no longer afford taking care of the elderly.

Re:Gavin Newsom is a Democrat (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year and a half ago | (#42864385)

It's a large, bloated corporation that gets less efficient the bigger it gets (the opposite of the volume, volume, volume! rule) with the odd property that it can legally force you to continue buying its products.

What keeps it ostensibly under control is the same thing that brings you reality TV and McDonald's.

Now someone integral to that growth has thrown up his hands and questoned it.

Welcome to the club, buddy. You're almost there.

Sure... (4, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about a year and a half ago | (#42863649)

Sure, the IT departments of the 1990s aren't going to be the IT departments that we need today, but we rely on computers much more in 2013 than we did in 1995. In many places, if the computers are down (or the network is down) work simply cannot be done. A great example of this is at a bank, if the bank's internal network goes down, tellers cannot really process your transaction, they can't let you know if a check will clear, they can't add the deposited funds to your account. The best they can do is write you up a paper receipt and add the funds to your account whenever it system comes back up. An IT department is CRITICAL there to fix the problem ASAP, because otherwise the bank might as well stick a closed sign up. There are many other businesses that when the network goes down the business simply cannot function.

Yeah, everyone knows now how to stick an ethernet cord in your computer. Sure, most companies will have several people who know how to install RAM. How many of them though know how to fix a server when it goes down? How many of them know how to restore from backup? In 2013 it is true that an average (good) IT guy will spend less time having to do things in an average day than back in 1995 simply because hardware and software is much more reliable than it was back then and so less time is spent on maintenance and fixing minor issues. But when you have a failure of some component, having a well-trained and well-equipped IT staff is absolutely critical.

Looking forward to it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42863685)

Oh, good. IT departments are going away. Is this when users finally stop calling me because they hid their whatsit toolbar in Outlook and they don't know what they did and they need it back and they don't know how to get it back and why is it so technical??!?!!!?!

Good. Maybe I'll get some real work done instead of bouncing between Slashdot and walking users through basic functions of Microsoft Office for the billionth time. Glad that users don't need my help anymore.

Re:Looking forward to it (2)

dnahelicase (1594971) | about a year and a half ago | (#42865371)

Oh, good. IT departments are going away. Is this when users finally stop calling me because they hid their whatsit toolbar in Outlook and they don't know what they did and they need it back and they don't know how to get it back and why is it so technical??!?!!!?!

Good. Maybe I'll get some real work done instead of bouncing between Slashdot and walking users through basic functions of Microsoft Office for the billionth time. Glad that users don't need my help anymore.

Actually, I think this will be going away in the next 10-15 years. Sure, stupid users will still exist out there, but I see 3 year olds texting now. The idea that you "learn" computers is going away.

Kids are learning how to use computers, iPads, and random electronic interfaces before they can read. Just in the people we've hired in the past 5 years I see a huge difference. The "experienced" computer user from 5 years ago has a harder time learning new software than the "inexperienced" (right out of HS and no training) computer users today.

They might need help and have stupid questions, but I think the days of "I don't know how to do this because it looks different" are going away.

"to try and provide" ?? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42863827)

@Lobster: That makes no sense. Perhaps you meant "to try to provide" or simply "to provide".

Aaron Swartz (1, Interesting)

sunderland56 (621843) | about a year and a half ago | (#42863851)

Aaron Swartz certainly "sidestepped government bureaucracy with a variety of technological tools". Look what it got him.

This'll be amusing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42863935)

I can picture it now. Just like the old place that moved over to gmail without any planning...

Q: "I deleted $BIG_IMPORTANT_PROPOSAL last month -- hey $IT_DUDE, can you recover it from backups?"

A: "Nope. You can check your trash folder if you haven't cleared it though"

Q: "Hey, we had an application for a patent denied, but I'm pretty sure we actually had something in place two years before, although it was very preliminary. Legal says we can resubmit with a modification.. Can you search the company emails for any of the following phrases.... and then recover the desktops of..."

A: "You can instruct every single user to log into their own account and... "

IT -- it's not that simple. Functionality -- it's not that cheap.

Look, I love Google. I think they deliver a fucking spectacular service for the $0.0 I pay them.

And cloud services, for what they pay, are often a value add.

But there's a reason they're cheap. And if you think you're going to get their support team to work overtime for less than it'd cost a full-time sysadmin or two -- you might be right. If your frequency of overtime and special cases are less than twice a year.

If you're even small (town) government sized though -- you better not try this.

But you have fun relying on the cloud and pushing your 'needs' out to third parties to whom you're about 0.0001% of their market share. Heck, at places I worked we'd usually ignore any request from anyone that was less than 10% -- although if they were actually insightful and useful we might ask a larger customer if they were interested as part of a development proposal.

And don't even get me started on what happens if this process gets adversarial. You thought that those data and logs were *your* data and logs? That you had rights to access the content in a timely manner? Was it in your contract? Did the temporary files that were flushed from the system when you migrated from east to west cloud get copied in accordance with your data retention policy? No? Well, that's mighty suspicious looking...

This is fair, sorta (1)

emagery (914122) | about a year and a half ago | (#42863941)

Before anyone goes and aggros the concept of government, try to remember first that government (as intended, anyways, prior to the inevitability that concentrated power attracts the corrupt) is supposed to be the gigantic lever by which the public can accomplish massive tasks that were too big for communities or individuals to do by themselves. Folk get together, agree on a solution, and contribute to it... and no matter what form that takes, you've just defined a government. That said, the nature (and speed) of technological advancement is changing this game. It doesn't make government bad; it just further empowers smaller units of self-government more than was previously possible... so yes, the equation can and should change... but does not serve as excuse for condemning something we've (in all of recorded human history) not been able to do long without.

A good example (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42863965)

Here's a good example of a light-weight (one man show) making information more readily available to citizens: http://openparliament.ca/

Part of the problem: Gavin Newsome (0)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about a year and a half ago | (#42864055)

Politicians are part of the problem, thinking that we can legislate all sorts of things and put up road blocks to change. By making it difficult to get through the endless series of red tape, agencies and other petty dictators that just get in the way, government is the problem. This is what my (R) and (D) friends fail realize, as they keep voting for more government, then complaining about the results.

Typical Scenerio: X is a problem, we must do something, this is something therefore it must be done. It doesn't matter what the X is, nobody stops to think long enough to ask the question, why must we do anything to solve X. Perhaps X is just something we should live with, because the solution might just be worse than the problem.

Take the High Speed Rail system in California, nobody asked "what problem is this solving" because there are plenty of alternatives available (air, slow train, car). SO what does High Speed Rail system solve? I need to go from SF to LA, I can fly, or drive. HSR doesn't solve the problems of flight (still need to rent a car) nor solves the problem of speed, as it would probably take 1/2 the time of driving, and twice as long as flying. Does the Huge expense, we can hardly afford, really solving a problem? Or is it more of a "make work" project for the Unions. Or worse, a "feel good" project designed to illicit emotional response, to garner power among the elite ruling class. Yet, Gavin was a huge proponent of the HSR.

No, the best thing Government can do is simply get out of the way of normal business, and go after the bad guys who do wrong. One cannot stop bad things from happening, al we can do is punish those who are criminals.

Politicians make IT complex (1)

hawguy (1600213) | about a year and a half ago | (#42864133)

It seems disingenuous for a politician to complain that corporate IT is too complex and too slow to adopt new technology when it's the politicians that put into place the policies that make IT so complex and slow to adopt to new techology. Sexual harassment laws and fear of lawsuits make us install firewalls and content filters, fear of violating privacy laws make us install IDS systems, restrict mobile devices, limit access to data, etc. Entire careers have been built around ensuring SarbOx compliance for IT systems.

These wouldn't all go away if there were no such laws, but the laws are part of what's put them into place.

Few outside of IT understand why Cloud Computing is not going to make any of these issues go away. It's nice that health records are stored at a HIPAA compliant SaaS privider, until we find out that Marketing has been downloading extracts that include PHI and using that data for a public marketing campaign. Or we find out that the CFO who insisted that he be allowed to access our financial data on his iPad lost the iPad on a train and he had turned off the PIN code because it was slowing him down so whoever picked up his laptop had unfettered access to the financial system over the weekend.

There's a reason why corporate IT is cumbersome and it's not because IT likes explaining for the hundredth time why you have to have a PIN code on your mobile device and why you can't use your 6 character dog's name followed by a digit as your password even if you did so at your previous company and never had a problem with it (as far as you know).

Active Directory (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42864255)

we'll have less need for full-time teams of people to maintain our stuff

When Microsoft started marketing Active Directory, this was basically their marketing slogan, i.e. (paraphrased) "use Active Directory, and you won't need a full-time IT staff."

And to think all those enterprise installations of Active Directory... all being run by part-timers.

"centralized ... out ... as we move toward cloud" (1)

Culture20 (968837) | about a year and a half ago | (#42864319)

Does he not understand that "the cloud" is centralized servers? Who maintains them?

Ond then ... MAGIC! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42864339)

I love hearing non-tech people expound on tech. It's like hearing accountants tell ranchers what their future will be like. Sure, they know somethings, and they might even know one thing really, really well. Heck, they might even be experts in accounting, but put 'em in with the cattle and watch them run for the fences.
This clown wouldn't last a single day in any IT post, and I am not about to listen to him or to his opinions.

Holodeck (1)

Korruptionen (2647747) | about a year and a half ago | (#42864407)

"Computer... exit."

I don't think he's necessarily that far off (1)

medcalf (68293) | about a year and a half ago | (#42864595)

I haven't read his argument, just the summary provided here, but it's not clear to me that he's that far off. Fundamentally, our economy, our education systems, our corporate structure, and most assuredly our laws and regulations are stuck in the industrial era. By that, I mean that those structures are reactions to the problems encountered in industrializing: jobs had become less secure, cities had become crowded and crime-ridden, even basic jobs required literate employees and the like. Right now we are in the midst of a dramatic change in social structure, as profound and deep as that which accompanied the industrial revolution.

Before the industrial revolution, livings were primarily made in agriculture, with a thin layer of tradesmen, shopkeepers, and professionals in the urban centers, which were quite small. After the industrial revolution, livings were primarily made in large urban centers, and in manufacturing, the bureacracies required by and mass-market retailing enabled by industrialization, with a thin layer of farmers in the country. It appears to me that we are heading for a point where livings are primarily made by independent workers creating goods and services in small organizations, and providing them either online and globally, or offline and hyperlocally. The bureaucracies and clerks required by industrialization will largely be replaced, I think, by a combination of customer-management tools online, and the ability of small companies locally to deal directly with their customers without high overhead in either information or regulation. This will mean that living patterns will shift again, because people can do most of this kind of work living anywhere. It will also mean that the legal and regulatory structures will change to meet the challenges of that way of living, as the support systems of the city and the bureaucracy break down in the face of changes in where people are and how they work and what they do.

So in the face of all of that, the structures that IT was built up to support and enable — big business and big government primarily — will become more and more rare, and more and more distributed and cooperative rather than centralized and hierarchical. In such a world, where do big IT departments fit? I suspect that hosting will become largely cloud-based, and regulations will arise to ensure privacy and security in such systems. I suspect that the front-end to cloud-based services will be largely through devices owned and controlled by those accessing the data, but through applications owned and controlled by those who provide the data. Sure, there will be a need for a lot of savvy IT workers in such an environment, but the traditional IT departments are not only unhelpful in such a condition, they are actively harmful. And so they will be reduced, and mostly survive in large organizations that cannot or will not downsize to become more nimble.

slashdot comments are hysterical (1)

whitroth (9367) | about a year and a half ago | (#42864663)

"The mainframe era ended"? Really? Then why is IBM having trouble keeping up with demand for them... and I hear that every ten years or so, when I hear the era is over.

The cloud? Tell me, what's the difference between the cloud and a time-shared mainframe? The only answer is that you've got a cluster of seriously high-powered servers instead of one high-powered box.

Move all your govenrment stuff to the cloud? Well, recently the UK decided it would *not* be doing that, because whichever cloud they were talking to could not guarantee that the private stuff (what we call PII, HIPAA, and all the rest) would reside solely on UK territory.

Some of us have varying levels of clearance, just so we can work with servers that might have that kind of data (I, personally, have a POTS, which entitles me to bottom secrets, or maybe just bargain basement secrets... it's a JOKE, son, a JOKE). Do you think that the folks who work the cloud *all* have that kind of training or commitment?

Phat chance.

We already hear, regularly, about somone working for a government entitiy who's looking up stuff on someone they shouldn't. You really think to trust folks who are stuck with, say, third shift and a lower salary than you're making? All of them?

Sorry, but nowhere *near* everything can be done on a pc.

                mark

Wikileaks vs. PGP (1)

Ken_g6 (775014) | about a year and a half ago | (#42864675)

Despite his advocacy of the cloud and collaboration, he's also ambivalent about Wikileaks. 'It has made government and diplomacy much more challenging and ultimately less honest,' he writes at one point, 'as people fear that their private communications might become public.'

Not much more challenging. They just need a way to encrypt communications between two people. Like, say, PGP.

Come to think of it, why doesn't everybody have a PGP-enabled email system these days? Why aren't there common email clients - particularly web-based [stanford.edu] ones - that use PGP?

Note that this may not block individual attacks, but it should prevent mass cable intercepts.

Re:Wikileaks vs. PGP (1)

dnahelicase (1594971) | about a year and a half ago | (#42865615)

Not much more challenging.

Note that this may not block individual attacks, but it should prevent mass cable intercepts.

It is much more challenging when all your data is in the cloud. You're communications might be secure, but if the low-level tech hired by the subcontracted firm that supports the datacenter for the company that the government has hired for "the cloud" decides to download all your information, then it doesn't matter how secure your communications are.

I am perpetually amazed (4, Funny)

msobkow (48369) | about a year and a half ago | (#42864817)

I am perpetually amazed by the blinding stupidity of people who think that if only you move "to the cloud" there is no more configuration or maintenance to be done for applications.

Just who does this fellow think maintains those cloud services?

The underpants gnomes?

Re:I am perpetually amazed (1)

Un pobre guey (593801) | about a year and a half ago | (#42864909)

We can safely assume you are not a marketing drone and therefore are not well-versed in the prevailing MBA cloud-marketing horseshit.

All morons please raise their hand (3, Insightful)

Un pobre guey (593801) | about a year and a half ago | (#42864897)

'As we move toward the cloud and technology gets easier to use, we'll have less need for full-time teams of people to maintain our stuff.'

Gavin Newsom, present. This guy is a political diva. Don't pay attention to him. His book and his overall schtick are pure self-promotion. In California, "lieutenant governor" means "guy who has no duties whatsoever and is there in case the governor dies or something."

We are going nowhere (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42864907)

"we'll have less need for full-time teams of people to maintain our stuff"

This statement illustrates beautifully the fact IT is necessary. That, or a printer will henceforth be known as "that messy thingie."

Really? (1)

Bryan Bytehead (9631) | about a year and a half ago | (#42864947)

'As we move toward the cloud and technology gets easier to use...'

And who is going to administrate the "cloud"? Yeah, it's nicely removed, there is still quite a bit of manual work to be involved even with cloud solutions.

And just who is going to fix his shit when the cloud decides to do a Nemo, or it just evaporates? He really doesn't have a clue.

Things will be great! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42865073)

Everything will be great while the citizen maintains their code and systems. What happens to society when that individual decides they no longer have the time to maintain the system? Does society have the right to slave them to the system maintenance? Are they a poor civic individual when they decide to drop a needed system?

Government is formed in an attempt (and not necessarily efficient) to reconcile the needs of the individual with the needs of the society. It is rare that Spock is right, that the needs of the many outweigh those of the few (or the one). But for those cases in which Spock IS right, libertarian ideals and individualistic determination will not save the society from destruction.

Security in the Cloud is harder, more experts need (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42865153)

Security in the Cloud is harder, more experts needed.

Anyone that says security in the cloud is better hasn't been paying attention. Most cloud providers are months to years behind on patches. Yahoo was using a JVM fro 2007 still.

If you think godaddy or any other VPS provider is patching your systems, forget it. They might nag you to load a new version ... perhaps, maybe, but don't hold your breadth.

Other cloud providers suck your data in, but never give it back. After your people spend month - decades entering data into Salesforce, you can't get the data back out in a useful way.

That is certainly a cost savings, but it negates the reason we don't like other proprietary solutions. Now the organization is left renting services forever. Does anyone believe that leasing a car is cheaper than buying it?

Re:Security in the Cloud is harder, more experts n (1)

dnahelicase (1594971) | about a year and a half ago | (#42865549)

And who notices when all the corporate data you have, which can be accessed by anyone in the world with just a username and password, starts getting downloaded in central China, or Estonia?

Or who cares? That cloud provider lets you setup usernames and passwords, and tell you it's secure. Your employees go home, where they've recently downloaded "AVG Super Microsoft Spyware Buster Plus" for a small fee, and now your corporate data is available on bittorrent.

If you call that cloud provider and complain, they say "our users can work anywhere in the world, it's "the cloud

Daily humor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42865189)

Newsom: 'As we move toward the cloud and technology gets easier to use, we'll have less need for full-time teams of people to maintain our stuff.'

(Score:5, Funny)

I dare you (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42865217)

At this point, after 5-6 years of hearing blowhards talk about clouds, I've just started to dare my boss to move stuff to the cloud. Seriously, do it or stop talking about it. But it won't happen. The minute there is a problem and they cant wake me up to fix it immediately, it would be brought back. So I tell my boss don't worry, I'll be hear when it comes back. Also, I've started to draw pretty clouds around our infrastructure drawings.

Grow a brain (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42865633)

No matter if its off-site or on-site there needs to be a dedicated team watching the network and only that network, and ones that know it. otherwise your going to have downtime like crazy, and you need computers now more than ever. If anyone had a brain they would keep them on-site, and keep most stuff off the cloud. The cloud is good for a small percentage of certain applications but most of it if you want it to be efficient. Let IT Pros do what they do best. Tired of the penny pinching. In the long run will cost a lot more.

Isn't this how the Air Force project imploded? (1)

george14215 (929657) | about a year and a half ago | (#42865653)

The one outsourced to CSC?
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>