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Five Big Issues Driving Enterprise IT Mad

BYOD, Big Data, Defining Cloud, the Spirit of SOPA, & Hacking

It's early March, and it seems there are several Big Issues emerging this year. They're all connected, and whether addressed singly or as a whole are making things absolutely maddening for IT managers, technology developers and marketers, and worst of all, me.

How I long for the days of a simple BSD vs. Unix System V argument, or of trying to decide if token ring's superior performance was going to trump CSMA/CD's lower cost.

But as we sit in here in Q1-2012, some thorny issues are presenting themselves: 

* BYOD. A nice punny name, but the biggest, unfunny challenge to IT since PCs start to sneak into offices a generation ago. By losing the consumer competition, RIM is losing the stranglehold it had on enterprise IT. Apple fanaticism, Android squirreliness, Windows/Nokia stubbornness, and the fact that the Blackberry is still alive provide IT management with a nightmare that only gets worse by the day. Can lines even be drawn by IT anymore?

* Big Data. The key problem with the Big-Data challenge is that it's like an oil gusher. Potential revenue is not being captured, and it's dangerous to cap it and control it even you knew how. The oil business has had 150 years to figure out how to control their gushers; IT has had one or two.

* Defining Cloud. Just when IT was getting a grip on thinking of private cloud as on-site cloud and the traditional vendors were re-assuring IT that the world wasn't really shifting under their feet, along comes the Open Cloud debate. Throwing the word "hybrid" around isn't going to cut it much longer. We're probably as mired in defining cloud uniformly as we've ever been.

* The Spirit of SOPA. The SOPA bill may be dead, but its like-minded brethren can be expected to pop up like sunflowers once we get past the US election in November. Legitimate concerns about the personal information privacy (and where it should be kept) have metamorphosed into talk of theft and terrorism. What policies should any reasonable enterprise IT shop have in place? How will new legislation and Presidential decrees modify this? Maybe we just be retro, store everything on tape, and put those tapes in a safe overnight. The world made it a long way before we had the Internet, you know.

* Hacking. I sincerely regret how the term "hacker" has come to mean black-hat hacker over the past decades, but there's no going back. Hacking is now viewed as strictly a criminal offense, but more important, it's a key component of the New Cold War. It's Spy vs. Spy vs. Spy these days, and hard to tell who provides the greatest threat to your enterprise: kids, gangsters, an unfriendly foreign government, a friendly foreign government, or the shenanigans of our own taxpayer-funded mirthmakers.

Have a happy 2012, and join us all at Cloud Expo in New York June 11-14. All of these issues will be thoroughly deconstructed and put back together again - in the conference, on the show floor, and in thousands upon thousands of personal discussions.

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More Stories By Roger Strukhoff

Roger Strukhoff (@IoT2040) is Executive Director of the Tau Institute for Global ICT Research, with offices in Illinois and Manila. He is Conference Chair of @CloudExpo & @ThingsExpo, and Editor of SYS-CON Media's CloudComputing BigData & IoT Journals. He holds a BA from Knox College & conducted MBA studies at CSU-East Bay.

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