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The Doctor and The Director

Imagine if you will, a whooshing, swooshing noise like an unearthly wind and as it fades away, a blue box fades in; the words 'Police Box' can be seen written upon it and there is silence.

The door opens and a young man pops his head out, looks around with the eyes of the trickster.

'We're here; this is the place, follow me.'

And following the young man out of the boxes comes a conservatively suited man; greying, looking slightly confused, like a banker out of time.

'This is it, this is your future; the future of IT in 2010, twenty years on!'

You know who the young man is but who is the other man? He's an IT Director of a major bank from twenty years ago; they were called IT Directors generally back then, not CIOs or CTOs.   

So what does he see, what changes does he see? And why does he look so horrified at what he sees? Let's ask him!

'Where's all the space gone? In my day, this room was nearly empty; there were a few big boxes with IBM written on them, a few boxes with Tandem written on them and lots of space! We built this data-centre in the seventies to cater for the huge systems but by the late eighties, the systems had shrunk so much that you could have a game of soccer in them or at least a five-side game!'

'What are these racks full of kit, just look at all the cables? Where's the mainframe, are all these racks mainframes? Why do we need so much?'

He wanders around staring at all of the unfamiliar names and the young man explains what he's seeing.

'That's the Intel systems..'

'You mean Intel, like in my PC?'

'Oh yes, just like in your PC but now they run business critical systems too and over here, here's your Open Systems'

'Open what?'

'Open Systems, it's another word for Unix'

'Unix? You mean that academic operating system written by those hippies in America?'

'And over here, well you know what this is'

'Well it's big and it's got IBM written on it, so I guess it's a mainframe?'

'Indeed, it's a mainframe but it doesn't run MVS any more, it runs zOS!'


'It's just MVS; marketing, don't let it worry you!'

'And what the hell are all these boxes with hundreds of cables in? It looks a mess'

'Well, those are your Cisco routers and switches; they run your network!'


'Oh no, TCP-IP'

'What the hell is that? Oh don't tell me! This all looks like a total mess!'

'Well if you think this is bad; just let me introduce you to the teams who run this lot'

So the Doctor and the IT Director exit the data-centre and take a tour; the IT Director shaking his head as he goes.

'So where we had a Mainframe storage team, a Mainframe network team, Mainframe System Programmers and operators; you now have all of those teams but with a Unix team, a Linux team (which is like Unix but not), a Windows team, a LAN team, a WAN team, a Storage Team, a BackUp team, a Security Team, a multitude of architects, a multitude of procurement people and you are also telling me that we've got a new team called the 'Virtualisation Team' which is a bit like VM but on PCs'

'We've also got DBAs supporting several flavors of databases; all built on a standard which no-one follows? More application developers than you can shake a stick at? A team to support the PCs which everyone appears to have now and lord knows what else?'

'And this is progress'

'Don't you worry!', the young man says with a grin and a twinkle, 'Because there is a plan, a new technology called Cloud, it's going to change everything! Some people like to call it 'the Software Mainframe'! It'll change everything, I promise…'

The IT Director sighs and shakes his head; 

'So in twenty years, we'll have all the previous teams? And a whole bunch of new ones to run this 'Software Mainframe'?'

'We could take a look if you want..'

'No, let's go back…!'

'Well if you insist but I'll warn you; there'll be no more of me on TV for a while; that Michael Grade hates me!'

One Comment

  1. marc farley says:

    Let’s just say the good doctor convinces the director to see into 2050…..
    The cloud (yes there is just one) is on the moon, which is ringed in solar panels with enourmous solar panels that are starting to lose their efficiency due to the growing CO2 cloud emanating from the teleportation chimneys. Thousands of nice-mutant Daleks are running the cloud because they are less expensive than humans. Still something doesn’t quite all add up…….

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