Tuesday, August 16, 2011

IT being off the Track

     Post Classification  ---------------------------------------
    Section CORPORATE / Category WHAT TO AVOID
    Section GOVERNANCE / Category WHAT TO DO
    Section TECHNOLOGY / Category WHAT TO KNOW

It should come as no surprise that IT is at variance with business, since IT is - in strongest terms - off the track. As a matter of fact, off the track
-  dictated by the laws of automation, inherent in evolution,
-  and observable in the realm of technology transfer.

1. Understanding Automation

According to the laws of automation
(1)  automatization, by means of computing technology,
      is only feasable to ease the handling of already existing
      automata, thereby mutating them into higher-degree
      automata, characterized by embedded computing.
(2)  automatization comes in strictly-different, though
      inseparably connected strata, including the strata
      of machine-type, functional, and social automation,
      (a)  machine-type automation is well-known,
      (b)  functional automation comprises the totality of
            algorithms, in the most general sense (from elementary
            mathematics to most abstract theories)
, while
      (c)  social automation, consisting of a single-one global
            automat, which is the machinery of publishing, publicly
            storing and retrieving script/sign-based documents of
            whatever format, not normally called automat.

2. Understanding the Web

In terms of technology transfer, this means that computing-technology, is resulting in
-  computer-aided manufacturing (CAM - in the widest sense),
   if transferred to machine automation
-  good old electronic data processing (EDP),
   if transferred to functional automation
- the Web, if transferred to social automation,
   which, therefore, may be called Pre-Web

Accordingly, the Web is just the single-one (global) social automat, with its handling automated (in part) by means of computing technology. In short: The Web is something like computer-aided handling of the Pre-Web.

As you may have noticed, this means: With the appearance of the Web, transfer of computing technology to the single-one, global social automat, the Pre-Web, is completed.

3. Impact on IT

Now, what has all that got to do with IT?
If you agree: IT's mission is transfer of computing technology to the limited segment of the Pre-Web, pertaining to the enterprise, the answer is straight forward:

To the most part, IT's mission is completed. In fact, since more than a decade. The task remaining for IT is
(1)  to delimit the particular segment of the Pre-Web, interferring
      with the enterprise, let's call it Corporate Pre-Web, against
      the basic Pre-Web, not related to the enterprise, to be
      called Public Pre-Web, in terms of a distinguishing feature,
(2)  to parallel the completed step from Public Pre-Web to Web,
      by an analogous step from Corporate Pre-Web to Corporate
      Web, taking into account this distinguising feature.

If you agree that the distinguisign feature is governance, meaning that
-  the Public Pre-Web is intrisically self-organizing, and so is the
-  in the Corporate Pre-Web, self-organization is inhibited,
   to a varying degree, by governance, which enterprise leaders
   are executing
the specific task of IT is to build into the self-organizing Web some supplementing piece of computing-technology, automating the handling of just the inhibiting part of the otherwise Public Pre-Web, without touching any of its self-organizing parts.

4. Path to Take by IT

This amounts to re-construct the public Web, in all its self-organizing parts, but supplemented with some computing technology accounting for governance by selectively inhibing self-organization to take effect.

At this stage of reasoning, the path of solution is discernible: Where a user of the Web, accessing it via his/her Browser, is sending a request, to either load up some information for others or to receive such information, the request may be intercepted to verify if upload or downlod of respective information is compliant with rules enforcing governance.

In short, the path to take for IT in order to satisfy their mission is, technically speaking, input validation at the browser side, properly adjusted to the kind and degree of governance required in a given company.

What I call Proper Coporate Web Usage or Proper Corporate Usage of Web-Technology is referring to precisely this path.

5. Deviant IT

However, current IT is off this path. In fact, to account for governance, IT-vendors do not branch off properly adjusted Corporate Webs, as more sophisticated island within the ordinary (public) Web, but instead develop a new construct, the so-called Intranet, a kind of 'proprietary Web'.

The single-one global Web is paralleled by an unlimited number of Intranets, whose access is no longer thesingle-one, globally reachable Browser, but a special proprietary entrance, the so-called Portal.

The new proprietary setup is introduced to account for governance, in fact, to automate what IT-vendors are mistaking for governance. Corresponding governance applications are executed. Their programs are running at the Web-Server, and their Input/Output, directives and responses, are sent and received through the Portals.

Sticking to the Intranet/Portal architecture, handling the Web-Server as just an Application server, and the Portal as its I/O-device, means giving up Web-technology altogether, and returning to the paradigma of functional programming. It means to leave the stratum of social atomation and to fall back into the stratum of Functional automation.

6. Automation of Governance does not work

Thus, current IT suffers from a severe deviation off the path, it has to take, to establish the Corporate Web, i.e., to properly tranfer computing technology to the Corporate Pre-Web.

The reason for this derailment is that IT-vendors mistakenly try to automate governance, tacitely assuming governance to be of purely functional nature, while in reality it is falling into the stratum of Social automation.

Automation of governance (by means of computing technology) does not work at all, since there is no 'Stratum of Governance-automation' to which computing technology could be brought.

Governance is living in the Social stratum and, therefore, cannot be isolated from self-organization. It must be treated as a restriction imposed on self-organization.

Accordingly, in the Corporate Web, governance is arising only in terms of company-sepcific Validation rules, applying to corporate 'Knowledge Workers', uploading and requesting information at their ordinary browsers. There can be no talk any more of Intranets, Portals, or Application Servers.

Turn to the special-interest group 'Art-Invest-Open / Corporate Subweb' at LinkedIn, to follow or enter discussion.

Go to Art-Invest Website