In this article we continue the series of our podcasts (available in Italian here), made together with RADIO IT. This time we start with a rather particular metaphor: the “Sheep on the Hill”! But, what exactly are we talking about?
It all stems from the previous podcast, where we discussed polarization, opposing bubbles and how the people belonging to each bubble often collide and have opposing ideas. This conflict expresses the downside of technology, as if technology treated us like sheep, each of us locked in our own flock.
But is this always the case? Fortunately, no! Technology is just a tool, and often everything depends on its use… Simone Zanotti, Sales & Marketing Director of E4 Computer Engineering, is going to talk about it.
Simone Zanotti: the negative meaning of technology, which treats us all as if we were sheep, occurs when the goal of those who manage that technology is malicious, but when the goal of technology experts (IT dept in a company for example) and the goal of those who receive some services coincide, then it is good to be all sheep of the same flock. Inside a company, the IT dept is always seen as a money spender or when something doesn’t work. But never it is considered in a positive way. Therefore, by adopting technologies that can bring strong automation in IT departments and therefore greatly lighten people’s work, through mechanisms of delegation to users and leaving them a certain freedom of action, always within a controlled perimeter, you certainly get strong advantages.
RADIO IT: Why do we talk about sheep? Why is the sheep-on-the-hill condition ideal to represent a person benefiting from technology?
Simone Zanotti: Because we are talking about a highly automated technology and infrastructure with a win win: benefits for both IT and end users. The metaphor of the sheep-on-the-hill is an example of a positive bubble because those who build it do it for their own benefit and to make the users who use it feel good. Let’s imagine the drawing of a sheep-on-the-hill as a child would draw it: the sheep, wherever he turns his gaze, sees the horizon and therefore does not see limitations or boundaries. If the sheep looks down, it sees its security perimeter, represented by IT experts. So, the sheep cannot do any harm because it is controlled, but at the same time, it feels free.
RADIO IT: The same logics are found within an infrastructure with a high degree of automation.
Simone Zanotti: The experts can establish a series of permissions, mechanisms, delegations on many activities, leaving users free to perform the actions they need, while remaining under control. Users can have the ability to create real virtual machines, download applications and tools independently. You then get an independent user, who follows his own times and deadlines, within the perimeter of his permissions. In this way, IT can devote its time to carry out infrastructure evolution and improvement operations, rather than wasting time solving small problems for individual users. With the right degree of automation, in fact, these small problems can be solved independently by the user himself. Unfortunately, the Shadow IT phenomenon is still very widespread in companies: users and departments who alone are looking for software and IT services outside the corporate one. They do it to recover time, but in reality, they create damage to the company and to the IT department, which on the one hand loses its users and on the other hand has to invest time in the event of problems generated by the use of these external resources.
RADIO IT: IT loses both users and entire portions of the infrastructure. So, what is the relationship between freedom and security? Today we talk about it in all fields, but much more in the technological one, talking more and more about privacy…
Simone Zanotti: “Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?” What is the approach that guarantees the right balance? First, greater awareness of the use of technology would be needed, therefore greater disclosure and greater capacity for self-analysis: what are my most sensitive information, which of these do I want or can disclose and which absolutely not? We still have a long way to go to be a sheep-on-the-hill … But let’s talk about it next time…
You can find below the audio of this podcast (ITA only):