Business Process Management (BPM)

Rant: Imagine If Everyday Life was Like IT

It is a myth that Bill Gates once said if the automotive industry were like the computer sector we’d all be driving cars that cost $25 and do a thousand miles to the gallon. To which, responses included the suggestion that unfortunately they would break down six times a day and every time the lines on the road were repainted you’d need a new one…

Both arguments have their merits because IT is fast moving but in many respects absurd and we ignore that absurdity because we are so accustomed to the tech sector’s odd ways. Many years ago, Richard Sykes, the former CIO of ICI, came into IT from another part of the chemicals giant and couldn’t believe what he found: being asked to pay for beta testing software, expensive stuff that didn’t work as advertised et cetera ad infintum.

Imagine if everyday life was like IT…

JANE is on a call to her husband JOHN

JANE: Darling, the washing machine has broken down again.

JOHN: Have you called the people who we have repair cover with?

JANE: I have but they say the fault falls outside the scope of the SLA…

JOHN: Ridiculous. To think we pay £10,000 a year for that too…

JANE: Yes, I know, darling. I think we’re going to have to get a new one. I’ll take a look at the directory of configuration options. Do you have any preferences on sensors, motors, spin cycle speeds, facia, colour, size, weight, materials…

JOHN: I’ll take a look but really I think it’s simpler if we go through professional procurement.

JANE: Yes, and I’ll get a system integrator to work on the plumbing. We should have a working prototype by Q2.

JOHN: What are we going to do to wash our clothes in the meantime though? I suppose we could go down the outsourcing route…

JANE: Oh really? We still have those four men in our living room from the last time we tried outsourcing. I honestly don’t know what they do all day. By the way, the kettle is displaying an error message. I’ll flash the ROM and that should do it but I wish Kettle Corp. hadn’t sued China Utility. The protocol handshake between the wall socket and the appliance used to be so much simpler. They have a nerve asking us to pay 20% of the purchase price every year for maintenance!

JOHN: OK, I had better run. Work’s bad enough as it is with management now in Bangalore.

JANE: Oh that reminds me. Good news. Jake has sold his paper round for $1bn. He was feeling quite sulky about the other kids having made billions so that should cheer him up.

JOHN: That’s nice. By the way, if the heating is playing up again later, just go into the back room and ask the admin to switch it on. He seems to be the only one who knows how. I’ll be back about six although this statement contains forward-looking statements that relate to expectations, beliefs, projections, future plans and strategies, anticipated events or trends and similar expressions concerning matters that are not historical facts.

JANE: Fair enough, I’ll expect you at some point in the next fiscal quarter, ball park. But I warn you that if I don’t, I’ll recruit my friends and issue a class action lawsuit against you.

JOHN: OK, darling, bye now.


Martin Veitch is Editorial Director at IDG Connect


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Martin Veitch

Martin Veitch is Contributing Editor for IDG Connect

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