2011: The Cassidy review

Steve Cassidy looks back onto what grabbed his attention most, IT-wise, last year.

I find that people who have part of an idea right are a lot harder to cope with than people who are incontrovertibly wrong.

By that I mean (and feel free to have Wikipedia open ready to roll on this metaphor) that the true shadow falling on those concepts, tools and technologies ripe and proper for replacement, is surrounded by a grey area: A Penumbra, a zone of partial shadow where the decision to throw out the old and bring in the new is far less straightforward. Most of these impassioned outbursts by triumphant users are Penumbral they have spotted a grey area, decided it's black and white, and then found themselves unable to restrain a hefty dose of anti-nerd venom on the way through drawing everyone's attention to their Assange-like quest for the truth.

I don't know about you, but I find that people who have part of an idea right are a lot harder to cope with than people who are incontrovertibly wrong. BYOC rides off the back of a lot of notions that reflect the success of e-commerce, user-interface design for (sorry about this) the unqualified, the man/woman in the street. If millions of people sitting at home, from window-washers to Lords of the Realm can pay parking tickets online, what is the justification for all the other varieties of software being hard to use?

I know, it's the job of chief executives and their ilk to jump straight to the difficult questions, and it's for us nerds to do their bidding, but the big question of 2011 for me was: sitting inside the annual-budget, big-ticket IT world looking out at the incremental payment, monthly-fee world of consumer computing were they actually right? Have we really been disastrously bad for the last two decades?

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