Reflection on 30 years in IT and why nationalism is for the pigeons
I celebrated two birthdays yesterday, the most important one being that I turned 60, but also that its exactly 30 years since I entered the IT industry. Since I started a lot has fundamentally changed, almost all for the better. When I entered the telecommunications market in 1989, BT had been privatised for 5 years and Mercury Telecommunications had just been born to break the monopoly of BT. For the first time businesses could choose from a different provider for their telecom’s providers. For domestic users, you had a choice of a few colours and you had to have it all installed by a BT engineer. It usually took several weeks if not months to order your phone and have it installed. As I listened to the Shadow Chancellor on Radio 4 this morning I looked up at the sky and saw a flock of pigeons flying by, which seemed to be rather prophetic. Surely, he couldn’t be serious about renationalising a key part of our industry?
BT is a lot more efficient and competitive since being privatised in 1984 and whilst the numbers of people directly employed by BT has more than halved since then, many ex-BT employees have gone on to start and run their own highly successful businesses let alone the new technology and ideas that have come out of this excellent organisation.
We all know that the vast majority of new technology and software comes out of private enterprise, whether it be UK successes such as ARM, CSR, or American giants such as Apple, Google and Amazon. All these companies create jobs but also through their own innovation allow companies such as Intergence to generate new ideas and software much more quickly than 10 or 20 years ago. All of our new technology such as Stratiam has been developed using cloud-based tools and we have brought it to market in a fraction of the time and cost that would have been possible 20 years ago.
Also, companies which we are helping to digitally transform both their business processes and their IT can also thank cloud-based technologies which we have integrated for them. We have done this at a fraction of the cost of the huge teams and software systems costing millions of pounds which would have been required 10 years ago. As we combine our Agile working methods with cloud-based infrastructure solutions we can now deliver a much better customer experience which can be measured at a fraction of the cost of traditional IT systems.
Listening to Radio 4 this morning though, all I heard was a Labour politician arguing that the state can run telecoms more efficiently than the private sector. For those of us who are old enough to remember dial-telephones and nationalised BT, surely common sense would suggest that re-nationalising such a successful sector would be a disaster for all of us but just as importantly our customers? We don’t need carrier-pigeon economics for our industry, we need sensible ideas and encouragement to continue developing world class solutions for business and private individuals to flourish. As I enter my 60th year, lets make sure we build on the last 30 years achievements, not attempt to bury them in state-controlled dogma!
Intergence is an IT infrastructure consultancy which provides enterprise clients with world class expertise on solving complex IT infrastructure problems. We do this through a combination of our people, processes and automation, the heart of which is our unique Stratiam platform. Stratiam correlates data from multiple sources and presents a unique single view of the IT infrastructure using AI, to solve complex problems much faster and more cost effectively for senior IT leaders to deliver a better service for their users and customers.
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