Saturday, November 29, 2008

difference between the home and the enterprise

This post tries to compare how the home is similar to the work place.

Somehow most people are impressed with the amount of IT stuff i have in my home. To be honest, it used to be more impressive with a full height rack and all my mounted equipment.

Since marriage and children, its scaled down to a 9U rack with the simple contents of:

1. cable modem
2. wireless router
3. cat6 patch panel
4. 16 port switch
5. network attached storage

The rack nicely tucked away in the store room out of site. My machine count has scaled down considerably as well.

1. Windows Vista Desktop - Media Center, Games, Vmware, etc
2. Mac book pro laptop - my main "workstation"
3. Boring work laptop with office apps
4. Xbox 360 and Wii

So in terms of space, it doesn't take up a ton of space as its just these 2 visible computers most of the time. However, this excludes my multiple mixers, audio interfaces, synths, guitars, amps, speakers, mics, effects pedals, drum kit and PA system. Which of course is another story.

So going back to the story about how the home is similar to the enterprise. In fact I believe the home is the smarter enterprise.

For infrastructure, described by my equipment list, it shows a concept of a front end and back end. Front end being where all the user interfaces are (laptop and desktop) and the back end (network and storage) which are neatly tucked away.

Notice, I didn't put the "servers\services" in the backend. Basically I think that data or information is the most important. Applications, services and servers have upgrades and change, these are destructable. Data doesn't change, it gets migrated.

There are examples of business functions and how they work in the home:

Finance and Human resources - Online Banking, Open Office Suite to collect and compile data, Yahoo\Google email groups, Google sites, for publishing of policies and Spreadsheets for controlling payroll.
Sales, Marketing, Advertising and Media - Blogs, Google sites, Myspace, Facebook. Email groups.
IT Department, Your kids, which you will realise is more of a cost that everyone likes to spend money on without producing tangible results. Also collaboration software like Skype and Internet Messengers or other voIP providers.

So, the facts are that, there isn't explicit costs in setting up IT infrastructure in the home. There are concepts like outsourcing to different service providers leaving you to only manage content. There also isn't a huge cost involved and there is also high availiability with "cloud" computing. As long as our internet service provider doesn't muck up. Even then, we have mobile broadband as an alternative backup connectivity or our DR site being our parents place.

My conclusion is that there is almost no difference between a home and the enterprise. Sure there may be more users, but there also a lot more ways to go around the problem.

Since we are getting so good at managing IT at home, why is it still a problem in the enterprise?

The answer is in the question. Management which is the highest cost to the business and the most ineffective. Machines, functions and services are just tools and the problem always lies between the keyboard and the chair.

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