On whether IT is aware of business issues
In response to John Harvey Jones, who urged IT management to be aware of wider business issues
The assumption that IT managers are divorced from business practice is not only outdated but insulting.
IT managers are under pressure and we are fully aware of the market conditions and requirements. The larger IT players were always business-focused and this trickled down to smaller companies a long time ago.
These remarks reflect more an out-of-step board of directors than the modern IT manager, who has a mixture of technology and business knowledge.
To achieve effective alignment between IT and business, IT first needs to become familiar with the company's business and corporate strategies, understand the significance and purpose of each strategy and how they are defined.
I am amazed at the number of senior IT managers that cannot distinguish between the business and corporate strategy. They also need to understand some of the current business tools for defining strategy because these tools have a strong IT element.
On the problems with Windows XP
In response to Simon Moores, who bemoaned the instability of Windows XP
Here lies the problem. Lose the operating system and you lose all the rights management software that goes with it.
Software suppliers' paranoia over software piracy - frequently justified - means that the operating systems represents a single point of failure for most of the line-of-business applications it supports.
I think you should adopt Openoffice. Then, when your XP fails and is rebuilt, you can borrow anyone's CD or download and install it without worrying about licence codes or discs.
On whether PKI should get a second chance
In response to Simon Moores, who said that detractors of the authentication technology PKI should give it a second chance
Hasn't PKI had enough chances? Seven to eight years of sustained marketing, and between $1bn and $2bn spent on pilots and failed end-user implementations, let alone research and development and investors' money - and it still offers nothing better than an ID and a password at 100 times the user complexity.
On whether IT is ready for secure smartcards
In response to Bob Walder, who said the day of the smartcard is at hand
I read your article and I agree with most of it, but there is one thing you have not covered.
Smartcards can be copied, with practically no effort and thus they are not a good fit for security applications. Ask ViaSat or Canal Digital why they are so vigorously pursuing pirate copiers of their smartcards.
On bettering the weak components of ERP
In response to Steve Larke, who wrote about the different options from ERP software supplier SAP
By taking a holistic view of the enterprise and undertaking scenario and capacity planning, you will highlight the areas of stress within the infrastructure as ERP is installed and implemented.
If you optimise the infrastructure, everything will perform faster. The biggest gains will be in infrastructure, with application performance being planned for after a full understanding of its impact.
We specialise in enterprise performance optimisation and have recently improved the system performance of a dental supplies distributor by 100% after its ERP installation.