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Bill Makes Sense

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DQC Bureau
New Update

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I tasted the not so nice side of IT when I was in Las Vegas recently to attend a conference on new trends in IT security. After a grueling Delhi-London, London-Las Vegas travel that included a six hours transit time at Heathrow, I was told at the The Venetian Hotel reception that I did not have a room reservation. By the way, The Venetian is the world's biggest hotel with 7,117 rooms and thousands of gambling counters.

Fortunately I had my Indian host's contact number and called her. She hurriedly came to help me out with her American counterpart, who had been dealing with the hotel, in her tow. But that did not help. The receptionist said that my name, as given to them, did not match the one in my passport. My host showed her ID; the receptionist acknowledged that my host's credential was genuine but was still not ready to go against the computer. Then the manager was contacted, he went through the mail trails, found where the error was, called up his boss, and he in turn spoke to my host's boss. Finally, after about an hour of waiting, I was given a room.

Besides the little embarrassment and the tiring wait, I also missed the welcome dinner hosted for international media representatives! But what is more sad is that people seem to be giving up on human relationships and understanding, and dependence on IT systems and processes is going up. I know many amongst us would completely disagree with me because they believe that security threats today warrant such stringent control, but I do not like the idea. In the long run, I believe it will come in the way of growth and prosperity.

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Don't get me wrong, but what the Opening Day's keynote speaker, Bill Clinton said the next day, hit the nail on the head. He put it very well when he said the world today could be categorized in two. One were nations with no systems and processes in place resulting in no predictability of outcome of one's efforts. The human talent in these nations was getting frustrated and directionless, and the world was losing out because of that. These places needed lots of processes and systems and IT could play a big role there. And the other type of nations had too much of systems and processes in place that lead to inefficiency, and reduced entrepreneurship. Here also IT was needed but to perhaps make the systems and processes smarter, more agile, and flexible.

Clinton made a more powerful point when he said that these two worlds are also completely depended on each other. The collapse of the US and other Western economies has resulted in lots of factories in China and India being shut down. It is therefore critical that organizations and governments keep this in mind and build systems that create opportunities, and strengthen human values.

You might outright reject my views but you cannot ignore what Bill Clinton said...

IBRAHIM AHMAD/ ibrahima@cybermedia.co.in

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