Learning from the home IT manager

If you're responsible for managing IT infrastructure, then the last thing you want to do when you leave your over-crowded office at the end of another day is to think about storage. However, the shift to digital entertainment means that's very likely to be what happens when you eventually return to suburbia.

If you're responsible for managing IT infrastructure, then the last thing you want to do when you leave your over-crowded office at the end of another day is to think about storage. However, the shift to digital entertainment means that's very likely to be what happens when you eventually return to suburbia.

"The average digital home has got something like a terabyte of information in it," Connection Research head Graeme Philipson noted at the recent launch of the company's Connected Home research.

"That was datacentre volumes a couple of years ago. The home is now a datacentre, and the average home owner is an IT manager."

One result of that outcome is that home owners are now facing fairly typical datacentre issues in the relatively novel context of their own lounge rooms. Have I got enough power points? Who's going to trip over this cable? Why is it so warm in here?

One lesson you can potentially learn from the home environment is to ruthlessly weed out legacy applications. Everyone except dance music fanatics has dumped their record players, and even VCRs are relatively uncommon.

On the other hand, most home IT managers quickly give up when it comes to service integration. "People have been talking about connectivity and convergence for years, but it's not happening very quickly," Philipson noted. Unfortunately, IT pros can't just give it up as too hard, as tempting a prospect as that might be.

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