Renegade IT part 3

Here’s another aspect to renegade IT, the idea that employees of a company can bypass IT to buy the software functionality they need by using web-based services like Salesforce.com: Salesforce.com was apparently out for a day.

Zoli is upset because there’s no buzz, there’s no uproar about this. I think it’s significant, and totally insignificant at the same time.

First, it’s insignificant because how many small businesses, the guys most likely to use Salesforce.com, are likely to have the uptime that Salesforce.com does? Very high uptime numbers require significant expense both for hardware and talented people to manage it properly. That’s part of the value of web-based software in the first place – someone else is responsible for managing it, and has very strong motivation to manage it well.

Second, it’s significant because in the scenario I was discussing, that is people bypassing IT, a shut down creates a giant target for said IT department, now jilted by said bypassing. It will be human nature for IT to point out that whatever failure cannot happen in their networks for whatever reasons. The astute will realize that IT is probably of it (or will be most of the time), but that may not be the issue. It’s human nature to desire risks we can control over risks we cannot, regardless of the actual relative risk – that’s why many people would rather drive than fly, despite flying being an order of magnitude safer.

Zoli – The first reason you’re not hearing an outcry is the same reason you hear nothing when Microsoft, GM, Kraft or any other large company has a network outage. It’s simply not that big of a deal, because it happens often enough that people don’t think it’s news.

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