Thursday, February 02, 2006

"Management vs. IT staff" by Patrick M. Hausen

I found great wisdom in this post by Patrick M. Hausen
to firewall-wizards:

They prevent intrusions, don't they? No, I'm not blaming any CEO for not knowing better - with the notable exception of the CEOs of companies selling IT security products or services. Even VPs of IT or whatever they may be called need not know much technical detail if the company is big enough to justify several levels of management hierarchy.

But I do blame CEOs for making decisions on certain products a "strategic" issue and part of their domain at all!

IMHO this is one of the main reasons for many bad products in the field. Remember MS ads: "The network that doesn't need an admin ..."

Stuff like that makes me want to bang my head against a wall.

I'm not old enough to have real experience here, but my impression is that in-house expertise and knowledgeable employees were valued much higher 20 years ago than they are now.

Current management schools seem to focus on "processes" and "standard products" with the explicit goal of making employess replaceable. Once the processes are perfect, you might as well hire monkeys for the job.

There seems to be a deep distrust in the people that run the IT departments and their opinions on technical subjects.
In jumps salesrep of $VENDOR claiming "Box XY will solve all your problems automatically and think of all the money to save, when you are not dependent on expensive expert workers anymore".

IMNSHO specifically investing in human beings instead of products is the only way to save us in the long run. Not only in IT security, but many of the problems we are facing today in Western European societies are (again IMHO) a direct result of preferring automation and fancy technology over people. Politicians and managers alike seem to have a big fear of relying on somebody.

Make the streets safer? Don't buy surveillance cameras and face recognition software - hire more intelligent and motivated cops and treat and pay them well enough to stay motivated and not prone to bribing.
Problems with public education? Use computers at elementary school?
Bull! Hire motivated teachers.

'nuff said.

Kind regards,

Patrick M. Hausen
Leiter Netzwerke und Sicherheit


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