Computer Weekly readers have their say
The technical agenda is only the starting point
I agree with Wendy Currie that the proposed NHS IT audit should study the big picture (Computer Weekly, 9 May). I am an IT consultant working for a leading US financial trading company. At each client site where I work, software is only one part of the programme. New trading systems inevitably require new ways of doing things.
Work flows that are developed for these systems do not take human idiosyncrasies as their starting point – you have to have a standard way of doing basic tasks if this system is then to be used by hundreds of different people. How information gets from point A to B may be radically different or completely new.
This software and required hardware have to be integrated into different client environments each time. I agree that to focus upon just the “technical agenda” is wrong – to do so shows poor management and a lack of project awareness.
Skills must change as IT moves to global market
Regarding “Demand for management skills booms in two-speed jobs market” (Computer Weekly, 2 May), I believe this new research from Computer Weekly and SSL confirms the hypothesis that IT jobs are not “vanishing to India”. Rather, we are witnessing a change in the nature of IT employment in the UK.
Customer-facing skills, business domain knowledge, cultural affinity and people management are all attributes that make each local IT professional an attractive employee in an environment where talent can be drawn from a global pool.
There is no silver bullet for asset management
Your article on asset management (Computer Weekly, 2 May) points out some of the benefits and opportunities that come with knowing what you have got, what it does, how much it cost, where it is and who is responsible for it. It gives an impression that software tools will do that job, but there is no silver bullet to asset management.
Such tools can do fabulous things regarding interrogating the network, and will give a wealth of detailed and comprehensive information. They are also complex to manage, and resource hungry in implementation and support.
They cannot give information on items on the network that are not turned on or never attached to the network, items that are kept in cupboards, employee’s homes or in the stock room. They cannot automatically give geographical address or ownership, or tell you where an item has disappeared to.
They are fabulous if supported by a comprehensive manual baselining, development of processes which establish ownership and owner sign off, a rigorous process for managing change and a yearly manual audit.
Margaret Esler, information systems professional
Why website speed has become a loaded question
It is unsurprising that “90% of net users are unwilling to give a website more than three chances to load” (Computer Weekly, 2 May), and it is my guess that this figure will soon become one or two. Online consumers are far more savvy than their high street counterparts, with the lack of “human touch” often making them more assertive and less patient.
The thing that many firms fail to consider when constructing their websites is the balance that must be stuck between content and overall customer experience. Stylish visuals and powerful rhetoric are great, but if navigation is tricky and time-consuming – or if the content fails to load in the first place – then consumers will not make it past the home page.
Companies need to spend more time evaluating the impact of issues such as load times and availability, in order to strike a better balance between web content and overall user experience.
Haran Sold, Keynote Systems
Is this a bridge too far for the sat nav fanatics?
With Downtime’s discovery that sat nav is not all it is cracked up to be (Computer Weekly, 2 May), news from staff at that icon of Bristol, the Clifton Suspension Bridge, fully confirms their suspicions.
The bridge was built in the 19th century, in the days of the hansom cab, when a single horsepower was all that could be expected of most road transport, so the capacity of this wonderful Brunellian edifice reflects this. Imagine the reaction of juggernaut drivers, who having identified a route across the river Avon, find that their 21st century steeds will not fit through the ticket barrier, let alone the bridge itself!
The staff are getting quite accustomed to stopping the traffic to allow the offending vehicles to be reversed and sent on their way. I will stick to my book of maps, if you don’t mind...
Dave Mills, Gloucester
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