Information | Process | Technology

EU e-Privacy Directive

This website uses cookies to manage authentication, navigation, and other functions. By using our website, you agree that we can place these types of cookies on your device.

You have declined cookies. This decision can be reversed.

You have allowed cookies to be placed on your computer. This decision can be reversed.

IT Matters

Steve Burrows wrote the IT Matters page for the Business News section of the Isle of Man Newspapers Examiner newspaper between July 2014 and June 2018 - 100 articles - as a pro-bono initiative to raise awareness of the importance of corporate IT matters in business within the Isle of Man.

IT’s The Future

So, welcome, Dear Reader, to my one-hundredth and final fortnightly IT Matters article. If you’ve read any of my previous mutterings - thank you for being there for me. If you’ve read lots of my IT Matters articles then I thank you most profusely, but you probably need counselling and should seek professional help. 

If you do seek help you won’t be alone. Tech and the digital world is enough to drive anyone nuts; ever-changing; as soon as you feel that you’re standing on solid ground some geek will jerk the rug from under your feet and flip you up into the clouds again with a new advance which renders yesterday’s assumptions and your associated strategy obsolete.

Read more: IT’s The Future

A Manx GDPR Muddle

The ten most valuable businesses in the world today are, in order: Apple, Amazon, Alphabet (Google), Microsoft, Tencent, Berkshire Hathaway, Alibaba, Facebook, JP Morgan Chase, and Johnson & Johnson. Seven of the ten are tech businesses for whom the exploitation of our personal data is a core activity - including all of the top five (it would have been the top six but for Facebook’s recent data troubles).

Read more: A Manx GDPR Muddle

IT Matters 101

Last year I promised myself I would stop writing IT Matters when I had written one hundred of these articles. I’ve been wittering on fortnightly for the past four years and the Examiner has been kind enough to give me a page to myself - which I have filled for them free of charge - but why?

Read more: IT Matters 101

The End Of The Telephone Line

In 1984 I joined a team of engineers working for ITT (International Telephone & Telegraph) and its subsidiary STC (Standard Telephone & Cable) in designing a “Digital Switching” system to migrate British Telecom from analogue to digital telephony. For those of you old enough to remember when the delay between dialling the telephone number and getting a ringing tone (or engaged) suddenly dropped from half a minute or more to down to a couple of seconds - that was the start of the switchover from analogue to digital telephony in the UK and Isle of Man. 

Read more: The End Of The Telephone Line

We have never had anything like this before

So said Eurocontrol, the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation, last week, following an IT outage in the Enhanced Tactical Flow Management System (ETFMS) that affected around fifteen thousand flights across Europe last Tuesday afternoon and evening - around half of all the flights scheduled . Media commentators estimated that half a million passengers were affected by flight delays or cancellations. Following restoration of the ETFMS system, around eight hours after the failure, airlines were asked to re-load flight plan data loaded before the outage.

Read more: We have never had anything like this before

Uncertain Times

Jim Mellon, in his recent article for Master Investor which was summarised in the IoM Examiner, said:


 “My call – until very recently an appalling one – that the big internet platforms of Google (Alphabet) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) and Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) would soon be getting some comeuppance seems to be coming modestly right”. 

Read more: Uncertain Times


In March last year I wrote a couple of IT Matters articles, one about the progress in developing Quantum Computing and the other discussing the probability of a “Technological Unemployment Bomb” which has been forecast by some very credible academics due to the rapid rise of Artificial Intelligence technologies. The two technologies combined - Quantum Computing and Artificial Intelligence (AI) might be the catalyst for the displacement, by the year 2025, of around one-third of the jobs currently performed by people.

Read more: IT’s NOW

Bedroom Tycoon

The last couple of IT Matters have been a bit depressing - one on the poor take-up and disappointing results in ICT at GCSE level in the island’s schools, and another about the unconscious discrimination of many software and media distribution companies in not making online content available to customers with Isle of Man IP addresses. So; this edition focuses on the success of an Isle of Man schoolboy in authoring online computer games which are played globally.

Read more: Bedroom Tycoon

Isle of Where?

It feels to me as though 2018 has taken a few weeks to get into its stride, at least as far as IT and Data matters are concerned, but it’s taken off in February with the first and second readings of the Isle of Man’s attempt to frame legislation which will achieve EU GDPR “adequacy”, the appalling and shocking UK disclosure that all of the two hundred NHS Trusts assessed so far have failed to meet official NHS cyber security and resilience requirements, the big-brother UK proposal to review its laws governing online behaviour and to impose a code of practice upon Social Media companies, etc. etc. Each of these will affect us as residents or businesses on the Isle of Man - the environment and expectations imposed upon us from outside of our little island are unstable and changing quickly as bigger jurisdictions play regulatory catch-up with the rapid rate of change which technology is bringing to the world. 

Read more: Isle of Where?

You are here: Home Thinking(s) IT Matters