[vcf-midatlantic] OT: modern cloud services

Dave McGuire mcguire at neurotica.com
Fri Nov 30 14:48:18 EST 2018

On 11/30/18 1:43 PM, Evan Koblentz via vcf-midatlantic wrote:
> I don't have a fraction of the IT experience that most of you do. I don't
> pretend otherwise.

  And yet you feel you have the knowledge to decide who knows what
they're doing and who doesn't, with the sole factor being the size of
their employer.

> However, as a tech journalist, I've been covering enterprise IT for 20
> years. I interview dozens of major corporate CIOs every year.
> Pretty much ALL medium/large corporations -- the Fortune 1,000 -- spend
> thousands or even millions of dollars annually on cloud services/storage.
> There are many reasons why they do it. None of those reasons include,
> "Because they're stupid."
> I chuckle a little when I read comments from people who think they know
> better than all the massive international conglomerates whose budgets fuel
> the many-billion-dollar cloud computing industry.

  It's ok Evan, you can attack me by name, I don't mind.  If you recall,
the first time you told me that I didn't know what I was talking about
because I don't work for a huge corporation was to my face, standing in
Building 3, not all that long ago.  It's very clear that you equate the
size of the business with technical know-how.  Everyone here who has
worked in this field is probably laughing right now.

  I'm sure that you do chuckle.  But as a journalist, rather than an
engineer who has actually worked in that world, you are largely unaware
of what the work entails.

  First, you assume that "massive international conglomerate" means
"will always do the right thing".  It's clear that being a huge company
is really all it takes to earn your respect, but be very careful with
that.  The larger a company is, the less likely they are to make
technical decisions for technical reasons.  Do you really think, for
example, that Microsoft Windows made inroads into datacenter server
roles on its technical merits?  Now look at the companies that did it:
Almost exclusively huge ones.

  As an example, when Microsoft came after Digex in the 1990s, for
example, knowing that it was a pure-UNIX organization working in a
pure-UNIX field, they offered some very enticing bonuses to migrate to
Windows in the datacenter.  It started out with free OS licensing and
discounted support, but then moved on to things like "gifts" for
decision-making staff, like island vacations and such.  None of their
arguments were "this is a better technical solution"; it all amounted to
bribes of one sort or another.

  My point is, in that environment, technical considerations take a back
seat to "business" concerns.  And business concerns, for very large
sales, very frequently involve salesmen schmoozing, bribes, and a bunch
of other crap that isn't exactly honorable business behavior.  Common,
yes...even ubiquitous.  But not honorable behavior.

  Further, massive multinational conglomerates hire people based
primarily on H.R. resume keyword searches, and end up with lots of
morons.  They have to do it that way, on the scale they're operating in.
 Sure, there are plenty of highly-experienced, knowledgeable people
working in those big companies (Dean and Eugene come to mind), but they
are far from everyone.  Add to that the Peter Principle (people are
promoted to their level of incompetence), and you end up knowing why big
companies very often make poor technical decisions.  Some of them are so
laughably bad that they'd destroy a small company, but big companies
often end up surviving in spite of themselves, usually on financial
inertia alone.

  I'm explaining this so that you'll understand that your blind faith in
the technical astuteness of the staffs of large corporations is
misplaced.  I know you're not listening.  Maybe you'd have listened when
I worked for a large corporation.

  I tried to explain this to you standing in the front of Building 3 a
few months ago, and you wouldn't listen then, either.  Speaking as
someone who was raised by a journalist, a journalist's job involves a
lot more listening than making proclamations.  I appreciate your point
of view, truly I do, but I don't need you to "give me a schoolin'" on
how the I.T. industry works or who I should copy my advice from.


Dave McGuire, AK4HZ
New Kensington, PA

More information about the vcf-midatlantic mailing list