Why are people in IT conservative?

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by Giuly, Dec 12, 2010.

  1. Giuly macrumors 68040


    I really wonder why a huge bunch of people in IT are so conservative.
    For example, websites who don't roll out iPad app regardless of the users needs. Blame it on the lack of skills to develop these, but most of them really don't get that iOS-style devices are the future, and the future is now - who knows what 2011 will bring. If people are unable to do this, just roll out a mobile version of the website - all the cool kids are doing it, and in most cases, this is already sufficient.
    Another example: AirPrint. What is so hard about unifying the way computers interact with printers? They do all the same, just like keyboards, mice and mass storage drives. I actually agree with Apples decision to remove the AirPrint support from 10.6.5, you need to make a big cut to wake up the manufacturers. Powering on your computer to print from your iPad is definitively not the way to go. If printer manufacturers don't develop support for AirPrint, they'll probably see big sales cuts soon.
    Or have a look at the thread a bit below. This however is IMHO based on the lack of knowledge about Moore's law. Without picking up the "Macs are overpriced" topic again, it leaves to say that there are hundreds of $500 laptops out there. I may be able to get the best one and stick an SSD in there, most people around here too, but Average Joe at the mall doesn't.

    You get the point. People don't read MacRumors, Techcrunch, Slashdot and what not as basic sources of informations daily, they are clueless. This is already wrong for Average Joe, but definitely for guys who are in IT. I mean, imagine a manager without his daily fix of the WSJ - after some period of time, he would probably be useless for business.

    IMHO, in the 21th century, where computers are omnipresent, fit in your pocket and are a big part of most peoples lives, all this a serious social concern. Somehow, we, the people of this planet, have to make sure to stay state-of-the-art in every way and whatever may prevent it has to abolished.

    Some of those problems result from politicians - especially the old ones. If you can't even use a computer, how can you judge those issues and do what's best for the people? The guys from Silicon Valley are the ones you'll have to contact on those matters. However, I think this will resolve itself as the Silicon Valley people get older, move on and some will end up in politics.

    For Apple, there is sometimes stuff you wonder about and could classify it as reactionary. For example, the lack of Core-i CPUs in the Mini and the lower-class MacBooks and the lack of 7200RPM hard drives. However, Apple mostly has a good reason to justify their actions - in those cases that would be license issues between Intel and nVidia, Intel's bad graphics and the heat that 7200RPM laptop hard drives put on top of the already hot MacBooks. In all the other examples I stated, you simply get a "No, we don't do that" resp. "No, I don't want that" and that's it. It seems like people don't even give it a though.

    Once last example would be cable companies. There is trouble going on for years about the CableCard. The technology for this is widely available for decades, namely Common Interfaces and Conditional Access Modules plus SmartCards. However, having those technology may not be fun either. For example, you need a receiver which is certified by the cable company, or they don't ship the SmartCard. Sure, the cable company provides a receiver, but it's crippled firmware doesn't work well and is not what I'd consider "Made to please Apple users", nor are the certified ones. Technically, every Receiver works, that's the purpose of the technology. Period. Or if you bought a Router with your internet service contract, they don't upgrade your connection because theoretically, you won't be able to use ISDN phones with DOCSIS3. Makes no difference whether you have them or not: Wait a year or two, cancel your contract and try again. Technically, this is no problem either. The provided Cisco modems could (well, if you don't cripple the firmware and use the Cisco-provided one like the US model does) act as SIP proxy, and $20 buy you a SIP-ISDN adapter.

    So, what do you guys think of the issue of reactionary behavior in IT in general, and how it could be handled in the future? My examples may not concern you so much, but I guess all of you experienced similar situations where technically possible things where denied for no reason.

    Kind regards
  2. dmr727 macrumors G3


    Dec 29, 2007
    Because it's a bigger PITA to properly support emerging technology than you think, and it's their ass on the line - not yours - when things don't go as planned.
  3. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    The only thing I really got out of reading the parts of your post that I read was that you aren't in IT and don't really know what you're talking about. IT's mission is to support the business that employs them. While isolated cases of denial of whatever-app-or-device-you-want-at-that-moment occur from time to time, most of the time there is a good reason (whether it's security-related, financial, or technical).
  4. KnightWRX macrumors Pentium


    Jan 28, 2009
    Quebec, Canada
    Why should a company do something if their users don't need it ? I don't quite get your rant, not every needs to be "an iPad app". What good is mobile safari if it can't display the same website your laptop's web browser does ?

    I'm an IT person who reads slashdot, Macrumors, etc.. I wouldn't make an iPad app for my website... that's what that bunch of HTML is for, to be displayed on your device. It's up to the tablet vendors to make sure their devices work with the full web, the day of WAP and mobile sites is gone.
  5. Apple OC macrumors 68040

    Apple OC

    Oct 14, 2010
    lol ... you would be suprised at how many smart old guys work in IT :cool:
  6. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Oct 9, 2006
    I read threw the rant and here is what I got out of it.

    "I am an apple fanboy and everyone should cater to apple"

    Lets see let go threw that list. Keyboard and mice yes you have generitic driver that any computer can use and standard inputs but most keyboard but guess what almost everyone one of them also have custom drivers for it as well so more of the features can be used. Printers long ago left the world of just basic features and more require custom controls (aka drivers) to work and be able to do everything required.

    Apple "air print" is really nothing more than Apple trying to shove printers to use some generic driver which I would not be surprised in the least the only apple controls and hell they might even have to pay apple for the right to use it.
  7. Cabbit, Dec 12, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2010

    Cabbit macrumors 68020


    Jan 30, 2006
    Printers a @#$%^&, anything that makes them simpler to use is a plus so i am all for air print. But that still wont stop my printer telling me i am out of cyan ink for my black and white document.
  8. Giuly, Dec 12, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2010

    Giuly thread starter macrumors 68040


    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; de-de) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C148 Safari/6533.18.5)

    If users demand it, there is probably something up with the request. It's rather the iPhone than the iPad who needs a mobile version of websites, though. Reading MacRumor's mobile version is a much nicer experience than reading the full-blown page. I'm talking about scenarios where it makes sense for both content providers and users to provide an app or a custom view for small screened devices. Not every blog needs it's own App, I agree with that - nevertheless, Pulse would cover this one. Just create an RSS feed. There are just things where it really makes sense and it's a bad business decision to not do it. On good structured websites you don't even need mobile views, nor apps. If they're not accessible however, either you improve the whole layout or customize it for phones.


    And yes, I'm an Apple fanboy because I don't like printer drivers. Checking the ink level or doing fancy features as printing CDs or what ever is common stuff which can be unified as well. There isn't really anything that justifies one driver for every single printer. Sending a PDF or PostScript file is all it basically takes, the rest is just "You're printing on a letter-sized piece of paper, use this and that resolution". Ask the Linux guys, they don't like the drivers either.
  9. steve2112 macrumors 68040


    Feb 20, 2009
    East of Lyra, Northwest of Pegasus
    A big ol' THIS!!!

    Look, if we roll out any new technology, we have to train anybody who may have anything to do with it. The sysadmins, helpdesk, developers, etc. This is not an easy task. Furthermore, we have to make sure it will even work with our existing technology. In my experience, it's most often management that shoots down our ideas, mostly due to money.

    Personally, I'll tell you why I'm conservative. I do IA (Information Assurance - security) work. We are responsible for over 3,000 users, 100+ servers, and some 90 or so remote locations, all under constant attack. Then you throw in all the stupid stuff users do. THAT is why I am conservative. New systems and applications means I have to try to figure out the security vulnerabilities, and if it can pose a threat to our network. And I have to do all this with limited budgets and management that has no idea what I do or why. All they know is that our team "takes all the fun out of things".
  10. KnightWRX macrumors Pentium


    Jan 28, 2009
    Quebec, Canada
    Really ? I hate the mobile site on my iPhone. I can view the real site, pinch and zoom through it flawlessly. The full web is always a better experience.

    I'm a Linux guy, I just read the HCL before buying hardware. I don't expect hardware to just work, I research and buy hardware that does.
  11. Stella, Dec 12, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2010

    Stella macrumors G3


    Apr 21, 2003
    I wouldn't say they are conservative at all.

    I think you lack understanding. Software isn't precise, its human driven and error prone. It is not like building a bridge. It is also very expensive ; developers, QA, project mangers et al don't like being paid the minimum wage after going through university...

    Addressing some of your points:

    - building a website isn't cheap, supporting multiple versions of a website isn't cheap. Your target market has to be considered. If your target market doesn't use mobile devices, i.e., iPhone then why support it?
    - The problem with iPad interacting with printers is the drivers. The reason why HP can achieve this is because they've built their printers to do just that. HP support quite a range of mobile devices, Apple, Symbian and probably Android.

    Slashdot is not information, it is pure entertainment, there are far better sources of information for IT.

    Apple have a low market share, so given your example of SmartCards - why would a company invest a lot of money to create software than under 10% of users will actually use? These people who say Apple doesn't care about marketshare are talking out of the arses.

    A $500 laptop isn't necessarily bad.. if it does what the user wants then why would people want to spend more, especially on a $2K Apple laptop?

    IT isn't necessarily reactive... Apple have been particularly pro-active, just one example. Like someone said above, being pro-active costs $$$ and is risky.

    Airprint: printer drivers are more complex than your mouse or keyboard driver. I very much doubt printer manufacturers would take a hit like you say due to not supporting AirPrint. I suspect the market for AirPrint is pretty low: most iPod / iPad / Touch users I doubt really give a damn - Its a nice to have. Airprint doesn't support Windows yet ( without installing 3rd party software). Printers for some time to come will still be aimed at PCs ( yes, that includes Macs - "Personal Computers" ).

  12. KnightWRX, Dec 13, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2010

    KnightWRX macrumors Pentium


    Jan 28, 2009
    Quebec, Canada
    IT is a cost center. You don't make money off IT directly unless you're a vendor or IT service provider. For all other companies in every other field, IT is just a big money hole. There is indirect benefits in the form of increased productivity, but if you put the numbers of papers, you can't see it unless you're willing to link the dots.

    I work IT for a company that isn't in the IT field. Everyday we're asked to do stuff on the cheap. Latest and greatest isn't cheap. As long as we're keeping the mission workers productive, we're good. They don't need all the latest gadgets and iPhone/iPad stuff with bleeding edge "tablet" productivity paradigm shifts. They just need to be able to read their e-mail, consult customer billing, and inventory stuff. As long as that stuff works, the upper management is happy and doesn't see a need to invest more. They'd rather just invest in the core business, the real money maker.

    The biggest question of all : Why Airprint ?

    Printers already come with network support built-in, or you can buy print servers that use lpd, or you can share a printer from your computer. Why did Apple choose to again screw the pooch by introducing yet another protocol ? All printers would already work if they simply used CUPS and printed over the Wi-Fi network like any other device, by talking directly through lpd.

    A lot of times, vendors choose to introduce their own incompatible protocols into the mix, you can't blame hardware vendors to not jump on yet another market fragmenting method that might or might not stick.

    I wish our "architects" read more Slashdot and less Gartner. They'd at least know that their choice of Linux distribution was pure crap. But yes, Slashdot is stuff for geeks, it's not IT news at all. The OP is obviously not an IT person though, so it's not like he knows that the IT section on Slashdot isn't at all close to being relevant in the industry.
  13. 63dot macrumors 603


    Jun 12, 2006
    what he said
  14. roadbloc macrumors G3


    Aug 24, 2009
    TL;DR version (having wasted some of my life reading the OP's post):
  15. xlii macrumors 68000


    Sep 19, 2006
    Millis, Massachusetts
    "No one ever got fired for buying IBM."

    - That is a line the IBM salesmen used to use. I used to work for a competitor.
  16. garybUK Guest


    Jun 3, 2002
    Because when iPad / iPhone represents a tiny percentage of any companies user usage, it doesn't make sense to make an app from scratch, besides the development time there's also the battle to relinquish control of said app to Apple's Police Department.

    This also, is why a lot of companies WONT (i know mine won't) but will instead develop the website to make it mobile friendly.

    Generic printer drivers are not a new idea but i'd like to see them (Apple) make this part of Cups for the whole wide *nix community.
  17. QuarterSwede macrumors G3


    Oct 1, 2005
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Oh my, that is soooo true.
  18. Winni macrumors 68040


    Oct 15, 2008
    To the OP:

    Has it ever occured to you that if Apple played nicer with others -read: the entire rest of the IT industry - you wouldn't be having so much issues with your niche iOS products?

    Apple is the company that does NOT adhere to common standards, nor are they really interested in other companies using or supporting their technologies.

    You know why Microsoft technologies get adapted so quickly? Because Microsoft COMMUNICATES with their technology partners BEFORE they release new products. This is how you have to play this game if you want to be successful on the long run. Google is doing the same thing, and look how Android is taking off.

    Let's wait and see how successful the iPad will still be in two or three years from now. I predict it will be a niche player just like the Mac. Nice designs and being the first one "who does it right" don't matter in this game. Being able to provide a platform for an entire industry is what matters - and Apple has always been a complete failure at this. Okay, to be fair: Apple never even tried. They are quite happy at being the Gucci, Versace and Armani of the IT industry.
  19. 63dot macrumors 603


    Jun 12, 2006
    The last two sentences spell it out.

    It makes sense because it's too late for Apple to get "big" in anything to where they need to share information. Apple has been niche for so long that it's comfortable with them and they still make money at it.

    Let MS, IBM, and others try and keep their market share in what they do, as well as Google and Dell. It's their thing but Apple remains the go to company for boutique computers, along with a few others like Alien. If Apple is like Rolls/Bentley, there is no need to make them Toyota or Ford, and even with their reputation, Rolls/Bentley could never make it in the larger market of more generic cars.

    That being said, Macs are cheaper (in the long run). I didn't have to buy anti-virus software and I could use free utilities which do the job. I spend less time fixing my Mac or dealing with "software" issues and time is money for some. I never do OS downloads and the way OS X has been on my Macs at purchase have been 100% percent trouble free. But every Tuesday for my PCs, MS has to come up with OS fixes and patches. Not that I don't do downloads as I have to download extra patches and stuff for MS Office for Mac. :) And my Macs effectively last twice as long yet do not cost twice as much as the PCs I buy.

    I think Apple's market share for computers is small, but they are making a profit and even a modest increase in market share means way more money since Apple has a healthy markup.
  20. Adam0306 macrumors regular


    Completely wrong for IT people. I agree there is some IT people that are all about saving every last penny and only replacing stuff when it blows all to hell but for people like me and many of my colleagues, it is not that we are conservative. The business/finance part is the one that is hurting us. I am all about upgrading and getting "up-to-date" but in business it ALWAYS comes down to the matter of the business not wanting to spend money.
  21. sjinsjca macrumors 68020


    Oct 30, 2008
    Because too many IT pros are in the business of self-perpetuation and empire-building.

    There's no better example than the prevalence of Windows in the enterprise world. If IT pros were serious about security, Windows would have been jettisoned years ago.
  22. belvdr macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2005
    No longer logging into MR
    A completely incorrect and ignorant statement. You've left out the main reason why Windows is here: the applications it can run. Many databases are run on Unix, because that's where they run well.

    You make it sound as if IT is the one making all the decisions.
  23. 63dot macrumors 603


    Jun 12, 2006
    I actually see merit to both of your arguments. While I have only been in IT eleven years, I have seen good arguments for and against Windows.

    Whatever the truth is, like it or not, Windows will not go anywhere (meaning it won't go away soon).

    I used to hate Windows, being a Mac person but it has made me money and more than I could have made doing anything else with just a bachelor's degree in business living in a small one horse town. One guy I know, without a degree, opened up a very small shop catering to PCs and small PC networks running Windows, and $3000 dollar days, everyday, has been his lot in life. The guy is stinking rich for a small town and the business of usually working around issues from MS Windows never ceases.

    There's a lot of money in Windows, whether it's developing, marketing, or patching/fixing it, and that in itself can explain a lot.
  24. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    Just to comment, that's only because MS tries to update their OS as quickly as possible. If you ever look at Apple's randomly released security and OS updates, they generally include hundreds of fixes, where as MS pushes 10's of fixes out monthly instead. It's just a different way of doing things.

    Also, last month you didn't have any Windows updates for Patch Tuesday ;)
  25. hakuryuu, Dec 20, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2010

    hakuryuu macrumors 6502

    Sep 30, 2007
    Lomita, CA
    My company fully supports iPhones and iPads. Our entire IT team of 12 has an iPhone (and about half have Macs including myself) and we are regularly handing them out to employees. In a company of 1200 employees I believe we have 100+ iPads as well. Of course we also have a lot of Blackberries that we support with a BES but in my short time since I joined the company we've had plenty of people trade in their BB for an iPhone.

    On the other hand we don't support or even allow any current Android or Windows Phone 7 phones on our network or Exchange server. They don't support the security measures we require.

    We run Windows because the software to design and build rockets runs on Windows. We have a few Mac users here and there and a few more using Apple hardware to run Windows, but the Mac users are not the engineers. It isn't like we have a choice. Oh and our HPC cluster is linux.

    As for being conservative its not that we don't want to take leaps, because we do. Its because we don't want to break things without proper testing which can take some time depending on the product. We're all tech geeks but we have to ensure a work environment that is as free of problems as possible. Of course its the Blackberries, ****** HP laptops and stupid user tricks that cause most of our problems.

    Our CDW rep loves us though. Not too many companies buy what we buy and in the volume we do. We are by no means penny-pinchers when it is justified.

Share This Page