IT becomes the plumbing

One of the things that jumped out of last week’s smart city tour in Barcelona is that Nicholas Carr’s IT Doesn’t Matter is coming true — IT is now the plumbing.

That’s not to depreciate IT, it means the technology is now becoming so embedded in society and business that people no longer notice.

Like roads, electricity and water people assume it will be available but don’t notice the massive effort or investment required to make sure these services work.

With cloud computing, pervasive internet and connected devices, most business never need to see an IT worker.

For telco executives, IT managers and tech support people this is a blow to their egos as they always wanted their industries to be more than utilities.

In one way being a utility legitimises IT as it makes the industry more important than just a bunch of geeks playing with computers.

That also means that things have to work, ‘best effort’ services no longer cut it when you’re a utility and things have to work 99.99% of the time. Just like in plumbing.

Becoming the plumbing could be the best thing that happened to the IT industry.

About the author

Paul Wallbank is the founding editor of Networked Globe and has nearly twenty years experience of working in and reporting on computers, the internet and the future of our connected society.