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Save Money By Tripling Your Costs And Other Friday Stories

Jan 10 2014, 9:51am CST | by

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Save Money By Tripling Your Costs And Other Friday Stories
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Save Money By Tripling Your Costs And Other Friday Stories

Right about the same time the new Meryl Streep/Julia Roberts movie, August: Osage County is hitting the theaters, the real Osage County is in the news for another reason. It’s apparently no less dysfunctional in real life than the family is in the movie. According to the online version of the Osage County News last week, the county commissioners eliminated the county’s IT department of one in November in order to save approximately $29,000 per year (not including benefits).

The commissioners’ plan was to outsource IT to a services vendor, except for one little glitch: the contract from the vendor clocked in at $90,673. Feel free to extrapolate when someone suggests outsourcing all of IT at your organization.

Coca-Cola Fuzzy On Its Carbonated Network Plans

So why has Coca-Cola swigged down 16 million MAC addresses? As Infoworld’s Paul Venezia noted this week, he is “comically perplexed” by the development and surrounding speculation that the company was going to create a network of Internet-enabled vending machines.

“MAC addresses are unique identifiers assigned to every network card or networked device that will connect via Ethernet,” Venezia explains. “However, MAC addresses are generally useless to anyone aside from network device manufacturers.” He notes that we roughly have 281.5 trillion MAC addresses currently available, which sounds big until someone starts Internet-enabling soda cans. Coke isn’t talking.

CES Insanity

As a frequent attendee of Comdex in the 80s and 90s, my heart goes out to Catherine Aczel Boivie, senior vice-president of IT at Vancity, a Canadian credit union. She writes in A CIO’s Return to CES – I Must Be Crazy about her return to Las Vegas last week. “I do wonder whether I’m crazy to be here again, walking hours at end, talking to vendors and seeing some technology prototypes that may never make it. And yet here I am.”

She also blogged on Thursday about her adventures looking at Internet-enabled appliances and smartphone accessories, while rubbing shoulders with 3,000 vendors and 150,000 other attendees. (That’s about the same number as the population my hometown, the second biggest city in Silicon Valley.) My take: you really have to love gadgets and technology to subject yourself to that kind of throng. Here’s to all those of you who are techies at heart.

And CES has apparently gathered gazillions of gadgets. As Agam Shah reported in CIO last week, “Wearable gadgets and ‘smart’ devices that can see, track motion and record activities will be out in abundance.” There’s your Internet of things, ready to go. Gartner expects wearable electronics alone to be a $5 billion market in 2016. That’s great but I’m skeptical about the need for a smartphone app that judges how well you brush your teeth.

Shah also notes that Intel has developed a computer – not a processor – for wearable devices. The Edison incorporates the low-power Quark processor and wireless capabilities to communicate with other devices. Intel anticipates its use in watches, eyeglasses, and health monitors.

Certainly, there’s not much in the way of enterprise stuff here – just as there rarely was at Comdex – but I still don’t think CIOs can ignore CES. The C, after all, stands for consumer, and there’s a reason why “consumerization of IT” is such a big deal. With consumers, it’s prohibitively expensive to offer a lot of tech support, so products must be simple and easy to use, focused on a limited number of tasks. IT can learn from that precept.

Email CIO Next Community Manager Howard Baldwin if you’re a CIO who wants to spout off in an opinion piece on a technology-related issue.

Source: Forbes


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