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From The Fifth Estate - Editor's Blog

As a regular new feature of your ITPA Download newsletter, here is a somewhat irreverent look at some of the media chatter that has been happening over the last month.

Cloud Technologies

One thing that we can all be sure about in the IT industry is that every now and again marketeers sitting in a meeting room somewhere will come up with a great new buzz-word that will be cottoned onto by journalists.

Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to “Infrastructure as Code” or IaC as I am sure it will come to be known. It has also been referred to as “Software-defined networking” or SDN in TLA (Three Letter Anacronym) speak.

Yawn. OK, so there is some pretty cool automation and artificial intelligence going down in the cloud and this is but one example. Of course, we should all be embracing the opportunities these “innovations” afford us as technology of the present and future and as a potential career paths but this IaC phenom appears to me to be existing technology under the guise of something new which to me spells hyperbole.

So, is it PR nirvana when the Big Australian associates its name to the ‘next big thing’ as was the case in this iTNews piece? Probably.

This opinion piece that appeared on gives a pretty good explanation of what Infrastructure as code means and where it came from while this article explores a few of the practicalities of implementing it. However, the cynic in me still sees it as marketing hype. Feel free to tell me I’m wrong.

NBN Stumble Trip
The NBN debacle continues to attract a lot of attention from Australia’s IT journalists as the “nation-building” infrastructure project lurches from one disaster to the next with a lot of hyperbole and spin doctoring in-between.

This sad new sport is political football at its worst and it is looking more like a game of aerial ping-pong every day. Based on my political bent, the afore-linked piece by a Murdoch employed opinion writer is a little too apologetic of the current Government’s sabotage on the project but it does successfully ridicule the political debate and partisan controversy that has followed NBN like a faithful dog.

The Australian also reported that NBN is Stuck in the Slow Lane and that people are very unhappy about it. So much so that there is growing confidence in the investment community that opportunity exists for a competitor with an alternative technology mix. With this in mind, the Fin Review’s story on how Uniti Wireless targets a 2018 IPO with $3 million of seed funding it has raised might be worth keeping an eye on in the longer term.

We should also spare a thought for people in the regions who continue to battle on as the nation’s desperately poor citizens of the Internet, coming up against false promises and unsatisfactory services. A correspondent of the Tenterfield Star perhaps best highlighted the frustrations.

There’s no point complaining about the problems with the NBN though because, as our friends at CNet discovered, nobody is listening and it would seem nobody cares.

Strategic Vision Required

Looking to the future and mitigation against risks of change are key roles for technology professionals in the 21st century. In many cases, responsibilities of the IT department are increasingly shifting from managing kit to a far more business based obligation to drive strategic vision and engineer operational transformation.

Every industry vertical you can name is being turned on its head by the power and possibility of technology including construction and the resources sector.

So it is always good to keep an eye out for what might be the game-changers in enterprise technology. It also explains why some of the biggest communications and technology companies such as Optus and Cisco are getting into bed together.

There’s some action on the local scene as we see Telstra investing in infrastructure upgrades. Are they espying opportunity from the farce that is our NBN?

The Future of Bitcoin

Meanwhile, it is my humble opinion that we should all be keeping an eye on Bitcoin and this is a good explanation of how the race is on to secure IP rights over the technology that underpins the volatile but ominous blockchain driven internet currency.

There are still some questions about the reliability, security and long-term viability of bitcoin, but, it can now be quite easily traded and its popularity is clearly evident in rapidly rising exchange rates.

Blog post written by ITPA Download editor, Gerard Norsa. All members are invited to contribute similar blog-style articles or to make comment on this one. Opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the organisation's position. Gerard can be contacted via: