Monkey Business

BA IT Failure inspires British traveller to build a business

A plucky British would-be entrepreneur believes he is on to something which will see him able to lend Bill Gates a few quid.

Ian Napton, an ordinary bloke, told us, “I was at Gatwick waiting to board a British Airways flight when they announced their computer systems were down and I couldn’t check in. It reminded me of when I couldn’t renew my passport because their systems were down. I thought back to when the world wasn’t dominated by computers and everything worked more or less correctly, allowing for a bit of human incompetence, without the enormous costs associated with all the technology and the IT Support people, who just tell you to switch your machine off and on again. Then it dawned on me. There’s a business to be built around pens and pads.”

Napton told us that, unable to check in for his flight, he popped into WH Smith in the airport terminal and bought a pen and notepad on which he drafted a hasty business plan and a few sums. “I realised that most companies waste eye-watering sums of money on technology which is instantly outdated, and which invariably breaks down as soon as it’s switched on. It never looks like value for money, even when it does work. And importantly, I realised that bosses with huge IT budgets never listen to their staff when one of them puts his head up and says the three words nobody in charge wants to hear – this won’t work.”

“So I’ve decided to build a business on my paper notepad which sees me going around big companies and advising them to listen to their staff and to chuck their computers out. It might sound controversial at first, but I reckon that even in a small business of, say, 50 people, they’ll save a fortune every year and staff will feel better valued. And every one of those businesses can start saving money on day one by sacking their IT people straight away. We didn’t need IT people 30 years ago and we don’t need them now. Generous employers may choose to re-employ them to work at the core activity of the company, if they wish. For instance, British Airways could redeploy their IT people to checking passengers in and ensuring that their planes take off.”

Napton continued, “Just think. No viruses, no spam, no printer jams, none of those little pop up messages to tell you to install the latest upgrade, which you know will actually work like a downgrade. It would be brilliant and workers would learn valuable skills related to the actual business instead of playing solitaire all day long.”

Large IT companies have not reacted well, although the words “fair cop” have been heard echoing around IT departments across the land.

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