Don Marti

Sun 17 Apr 2005 08:33:50 PM PDT

BOFH no more. Or else.

Earth to bad system administrators: web-based business apps are putting the Bastard Operator from Hell out of a job.

Why should managers put up with BOFH excuses and pleas of "that's technically impossible" (lazy-sysadmin-speak for "I don't feel like doing that") when they can pick up the phone or fill in a web form and get the app they want?

Value proposition 1: locally installed software. Pay once (in license fees, admin time, or both), get an uncertain delivery time and a load of attitude when the thing flakes out.

Value proposition 2: application as service. Try it online, if you like it, sign up. If you have a problem, it gets fixed at the server for every customer at the same time.

BOFHs, you know how to sniff network traffic. How much of your organization's traffic is port 443 to, and That's traffic to services that replace the things that in-house IS organizations haven't done right through pigheaded lack of understanding of business processes. Yes, you can partition disks, do backups, and install software. How nice for you. Now do you want to look up what the "S" in "IS" stands for, or should we?

Paul Graham was right in 2001. Web-based apps are hot enough to make IPO news while customer-hosted software languishes.

You can't lay all the blame for the move on software companies. Bailing out of locally hosted apps is a choice to bail out of BOFH-ism, too.