Wednesday, December 02, 2009

The Power Of Twitter & God's IT Usage

When I posted my musings on "Identity & Access Management In The Cloud" the other day, I did something I don't normally do. I advertised the fact that I had posted something via Twitter.

Now, my blog is mainly a way of recording my own thoughts as I travel through space and time and I treat it like an online diary that I can look back on with fondness. I don't really expect anyone to read the stuff. I certainly don't expect anyone to agree with my thoughts. And the notion that people would even take the time to comment on the ramblings never entered my head. But then there was Twitter!

My "tweet" mentioned the words identity, access, management and cloud and seems to have been picked up by quite a large number of people - comparatively speaking! I had 3x more visitors in one day than I normally do in a month!

If anything, this turn of events impresses upon me the following:
  • People are interested in the Cloud
  • People are interested in security when it comes to the Cloud
  • If people are interested in what I have to say, I need to be very careful what I say!
That last one might seem strange, but I've always been careful with my online persona - I think. I don't use bad language whether it be within my blog entries, on Twitter, on Facebook or wherever. There's no need for it and we should remember that it's permanent! I'm also a little nervy about writing anything that is controversial. (I guess I just wanna be loved and can't bear the thought of upsetting anyone?)  In other words, my reputation is obviously very important to me.

Facebook & Twitter
There has been a lot of online discussions surrounding the management of identity with regards to online services such as Facebook & Twitter. While enterprises won't be too impressed with this notion, it is quite understandable that the likes of Facebook & Twitter could emerge as identity provider kings! I can't afford to have my Facebook account suspended and I certainly don't want my Twitter feed to suffer any kind of service interruption. As such, behaving appropriately when using these services is important to me. And, of course, because I'm a well behaved boy on these services, there's a good chance that they could be used to assert my identity quite faithfully.

Think about it. Would I be keen to authenticate myself to a dubious website using my reputable Facebook credentials? Reputation management, for me, is just as important as identity management (if not more so).

God
DISCLAIMER: If Pope Benedict and Richard Dawkins were lined up in the school playground pulling together their "gangs", I'd line up behind Dawkins. Sorry Benny.

Someone told me today that they doubted whether they would make it to heaven because they reckoned that God's choice of IT components would be akin to how government's go about their purchasing of IT components. It got me thinking...

  • Would God choose Oracle, DB2, MS SQL Server or MySQL? Nobody ever got fired by buying IBM, but who could fire God?
  • Would God choose Windows, AIX, Solaris or Linux for his servers?
  • Would God go Mac?
  • Would God deploy IIS or WebSphere?
  • Would God embrace open-source?

And what about Dawkins? Presumably he would prefer to select IT services based on the survival of the fittest model?

I'm having a laugh, of course. But the selection of any IT component can't possibly be determined to be right or wrong based on the component itself. It can be determined to be right or wrong based on how it interacts with the user and other IT components but I can't tell you that Macs are better than PCs. I can't tell you that Apache HTTP Server is better than Sun's offering. I can't tell you that PHP is better than Python which is better than COBOL which is better than C#, etc.

And the point? Well, I was asked yesterday whether I could help a customer select a database vendor and the options were Oracle and IBM. My answer? Technically, I come from the "a DBMS is a DBMS". The real questions are:
  • Do you have in-house skills in one of the technologies
  • Do you have existing relationships with either vendor
  • What is the cost to you - TCO-wise


Technically? Maybe I'm past caring. The "religious" questions are so much more important!

NOTE: The answer is DB2. No. Oracle. No. MySQL. Yeah. That's the one. Oh. Maybe not :-)
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