MAILBAG: Jobs, disasters, spectrum and lofty goals

Brian Bloom is a staff writer at ComputerWorld Canada. You can find him on Google+. He covers enterprise hardware and software, information architecture and security topics.

The biggest news stories are invariably political stories, even for an industry publication like ours, and this week, the big news was certainly the federal government’s decision to place limits on the 700 MHz spectrum auction.

Days before the big announcement, we had written an article exploring the issue of reserving wireless spectrum for policing and emergency services on both sides of the border.

Commenter Bhillman felt that the numbers weren’t right and that this would all be a big waste of money:
“Do the math! 10 to 20 MHz is a total waste of spectrum for this use. It’s not a matter of the need, which I think we all agree is appropriate, it is the amount of the spectrum. How many active people/workers in each local area need to communicate with each other? How cost-effective will the private networks be?
“I will submit that cell phones, PDAs, tablets, etc. provide far more utility than any private network will have with a limited choice of very expensive, limited-functionality subscriber devices. Note that in the U.S. they have been trying to reach agreement on public safety wireless network standards and it hasn’t gone anywhere due to the fact it doesn’t make economical sense.”
And on the subject of economizing, can organizations save money by moving their disaster recovery to the cloud? We wrote about various cloud-based DR options and who might benefit from them, as well as about how DR itself can give companies a competitive edge.
Commenter Randall took issue with the fact that the article hadn’t explored the topic of disasters within the cloud itself. He offered some words of caution:
“We see companies moving to the cloud to be ‘safer,’ when they actually are increasing their risk in some areas. Please see the Toronto WCDM proceedings from last June.”
Mat Pancha followed up with some comments in the same vein:
“The key that I think everyone forgets is cloud isn’t a magical thing — it’s simply a ‘server’ or ‘service’ managed by someone else, and not you. In theory, you’re more protected, but in reality you’re just as vulnerable.We find that we need to run our own backups in the event the cloud service provider drops the ball. Our clients/end-users don’t care whose fault data loss is, they just care that their data is lost and we’re on watch.”
We also wrote about how Avaya Inc.’s new head of networking, Marc Randall, was pretty upbeat about the future prospects for his company, despite being quite the underdog in the competition for networking equipment sales.
Reader Mike Hunt didn’t think Randall had much of a reason to be optimistic.  Referring to our headline that spoke of “lofty goals,” this is what he wrote:
“Just like every other network chief at this company who had lofty goals. Avaya/Nortel hasn’t had new innovation in 10 years on the network products. They are a few years behind the competitors. To fix the issue, invest some money in in R&D for once.”
Then, on the jobs front, we wrote about a report by Robert Half Technology published that found CIOs are planning to invest more in IT staff in the coming months.
But commenter Magic23 wanted to see the proof:
“So…where are these jobs being advertised?”
Good question. We’ll do our best to find out.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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