The dark side of IT

Recently I participated in the annual Risk- and compliance conference here in São Paulo, Brasil. I listened to very knowledgeable speakers from different areas talking about how they secure the ongoing delivery of IS/IT-services, which are the current biggest security threats in IT and much more.

All in all a very good conference with lots of new information and some good heads-up about things to put up on that list we all have for things to manage soon.

About two hours ago, I was logged out of Skype, this bothered me because I was just preparing for a meeting with a great network friend of mine. Now, more than 2 hours later the login arrows are still spinning like crazy on my Skype app and what we see now must be a very serious crisis for Skype.

Skype – one of the biggest online communications service providers, being offline is like a singer losing his voice.

So, there is a very dark side of IT people. The shadowed lands that few wants to visit, few really understands and even fewer wants to spend money on. The dark side that does not appear to the organization unless it does not protect them from the horrors within, as with Skype now.

Just consider the consequences for Skype. I am pretty sure they are in total crisis right now, people yelling at each other, task forces with loud and focused voices discussing how to resolve this and a lot more.

So, is this all IT´s fault? Should we alone be responsible for making sure that the dark side of IT stays within IT and never shows its ugly face to the business?

To that question, there is a huge NO! It can only execute what has been decided in terms of continuity arrangements, providing the business with timely and well-balanced information and be the one of the parts in this game of making sure that things than can happen, when they happen, will harm the business as little as possible.

Business continuity, risk management and compliance is and will always be a business responsibility, with a big portion of the day-to-day executed by IT.

IT cannot utilize a best effort approach to this, we cannot complain that the business did not provide the BIA (Business Impact Analysis), realized budget cuts or in any other way did not play their part. As cannot the business blame IT for not maintaining the status qou! We are all to blame for not using a proactive and continuous management of our IS/IT services and we need each other.

Let’s this Skype disaster, yeah it really is a disaster, serve as a quick glance of the dark side of IT and do make sure to keep this ugly thing well contained. Today, really today, make this an item on your agenda, I can promise you its one of the smartest things you have done in while. Just ask the people at Skype, but not right now not to make them go totally bat crazy. Stay smart people!

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