Steve Jones does not agree with my assertion that companies face problems similar to those of the Web, and that the support of chaos inherent in Web architecture thus makes it a good match for enterprise IT:
It is true that IT unfortunately does create IT estates that are a mess and which have in the main part been driven by people who focused on the technologies first. This isn’t however true for the businesses that they support, there is the ability in companies to compel change and to enforce conformity. Companies establish procurement departments, HR departments and even IT departments with these aims. Taking the Web view and applying it to business seems to imply that the chaotic nature of the web is the correct approach to take in creating an IT estate that works for the business. This doesn’t make sense.
I did not intend to say that all companies work chaotically. My slightly lame attempt at humor was this one:
Q. What’s the difference between the Internet and the Enterprise?
A. One is a gigantic, uncontrollable anarchy of heterogeneous systems with varying quality that evolve independently and constantly get connected in new and unexpected ways. The other is a worldwide, publicly accessible series of interconnected computer networks that transmit data by packet switching using the standard Internet Protocol (IP).
Maybe the “uncontrollable” isn’t 100% true in every company, but the opposite — the idea of being able to centrally control a non-trivial IT landscape — is at least as wrong.