While the road to Hell may be paved with good intentions, this doesn’t stop many of us from making one or more New Year’s resolution – even if it’s only the resolution to not make any New Year’s resolutions! This year, inspired by a family friend and not a few glasses of red wine on New Year’s Eve and the knowledge that 2018 sees me reach the ‘Big ‘ 50, I’ve made plenty of resolutions or, as I like to think of them, plans. I know that many of them will remain just plans, but even if I can cross off a couple of the items from the long list I have made for both work and leisure time, then the exercise will have been worthwhile.
Listening to Radio 4 the other day and there was (yet another) programme dedicated to discussing the stumbling blocks along the way to Brexit, with the usual selection of journalists and politicians offering their own views on the present situation, some of (the many) issues still to be resolved, and the likely end results. Ordinarily, this prospect of the blind leading the blind would have had me changing the radio station in double quick time. However, before I could do this, one of the BBC journalists explained that, while leaving the EU would mean that the European Court of Justice (ECJ) no longer applied to the UK, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) was a completely separate entity, not part of the EU and, therefore, would still be of relevance to the UK post-Brexit.
Stakeholders in the IT industry – vendors, Channel, consultants, analysts and end users – must look at the political world with envy when it comes to the certainties to be encountered at Westminster and beyond! Brexit is an almost guaranteed disaster. For the Brexiteers, we’ll end up being too generous when it comes to the much talked about ‘divorce bill’, and for the Bremoaners, any deal short of the existing one we have as part of the EU will be a disaster. Add in the certainty of financial and personal life scandals, stir with the ongoing will she or won’t she remain as Prime Minster, sprinkle in a pinch of economic meltdown as the lessons of 2008 seem well and truly forgotten (apparently there’s more personal debt now than there was pre that previous crash – oh dear!), and that’s the year 2018 in politics.
“Good name in man and woman, dear my lord,
Is the immediate jewel of their souls:
Who steals my purse steals trash; ’tis something, nothing;
’twas mine, ’tis his, and has been slave to thousands;
But he that filches from me my good name
Robs me of that which not enriches him,
And makes me poor indeed.”
(From Othello – Shakespeare)
In all the seminars, conferences, webinars and other information gathering events I’ve attended over the years (and that’s quite a large number!), there are two anecdotes that I remember above all the others. Both happened at the same event, about 12 or so years ago. Firstly, the storage networking manager of a German F1 team explained how his company was trying to implement a ten internal emails per day maximum in an attempt to address the growing problem of a massively growing and expensive data storage requirement. The idea was that employees would either speak on the phone to one another and/or walk down the corridor and engage in face-to-face conversation. While in today’s data hungry enterprise such an initiative might seem a little like moving the deckchairs on the Titanic, the idea of encouraging staff to talk rather than email still makes a great deal of sense. Perhaps even more so in this data-sensitive digital age, where security and compliance mean that any and all created data has to be managed so very, very carefully. Talk to someone, and there is no data to be saved, stored and, eventually, maybe, deleted!