The Register: SHIP OF FAIL – How do we right capsized institutions we thought would NEVER go under?

ATN-300InsightaaS: The Register is a leading global online tech publication, with more than nine million monthly unique browsers worldwide. It combines broad coverage of IT industry news with an informed POV — served at least occasionally with a healthy dollop of tongue-in-cheek humour.

"SHIP OF FAIL - How do we right capsized institutions we thought would NEVER go under?" is described as "the first in a series of essays in which [author John Watkinson] examines failures in society." Examples of failure abound - from "banking and education," which are highlighted in the introduction to the essay, to the many examples (ranging from riots to NASA) contained in the essay itself - but the essay goes beyond simply chronicling these tales of woe. It holds that there is a "characteristic gross failure to assess risk," exacerbated by a political climate in which "leadership has been replaced by followership." Against this backdrop, Watkinson turns his attention to IT, noting some of its failures (security, enterprise software development) and concluding that "knowledge of enterprise architecture is about as rare as knowledge of economics.." Despite the negative tone of the piece, Watkinson's conclusion holds that "There is a tremendous opportunity here for change. Not change for it own sake, but change based on understanding problems and deciding on actions that may actually solve them...Perhaps instead of being told what to do, we have to work it out for ourselves on an individual basis?" - which isn't particularly strong as a "conclusion" but presumably, points towards the content of the future essays in the series.

The last seven or so years since the economic crash has not been much fun for a lot of people, but it has been highly educational. In considering what that education has brought to light, I should make it clear that this piece, and those that may follow, is not a cheap catalogue of disasters and contempt for the perpetrators. I suspect the contempt I can add is a drop in the ocean, but, most importantly, complaining for its own sake serves no purpose.

If areas that are ripe for change can be identified and if tangible courses of action the individual can take can be suggested, then we might make some progress — but only if there is motivation to do so.

Real solutions to problems are rare, because problem solving is an art form. Problems themselves are seldom visible. The visible aspects are symptoms. Making the symptoms go away does not solve problems; in fact it diverts energy and resources from the identification of the problem...

Read the entire piece on The Register's website