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Job Vacancy – Domestic CIO, Davies household

Tower of London

At the Cisco Manged Services Seminar yesterday at the Tower of London Chris Lewis, GVP International Telecoms and Networking, IDC introduced the concept of the domestic CIO. This was new to me (ok I’m probably behind the times) but it certainly struck a chord.

There are so many aspects of life in the office that are now present at home. In the Davies household we have 8 active SIMs supporting 5 smartphones, an iPad, a dongle and a battered old Nokia that my wife uses (her decision). Some of these SIMS are pay as you go and some are contract. We have a mix of Vodafone, O2 and Orange.  This isn’t necessarily an efficient way of working. If this was a business scenario we would harmonize onto a single network and group bundle. We would also have managed backups of the directories.

7 out of the 8 mobile devices also support wifi as do the 2 laptops, 4 desktop PCs and the XBox. In an ideal world we would have a home password management system, changing the password on a regular basis.

When it comes to passwords we use them for online banking, shopping with M&S, eBay, Tesco online, EastCoast trains,  Superbreak,, iTunes, Travelodge. We also have passwords for Twitter, Facebook, gmail, telegraph online, and I’m sure many other portals I’ve forgotten about and some I’ve never heard of.  How do we keep track of them all?

I operate a calendar that synchronizes on my phone, iPad and laptop. My wife uses a paper calendar on the kitchen wall that doesn’t synch with mine other than via an ad hoc manual process known in the Davies household as “diarising”.  This does sometime lead to clashes – “OMG who’s going to pick so and so up from the friend’s party” or “we can’t already be going out because we have just been invited somewhere else for dinner”. Plenty of room for improvement here.

Then there’s the IT support, “the internet isn’t working”, “yes it is I’m on it”, “why isn’t my document printing”, “we have run out of ink”, “can I have your credit card number please dad” !!!

Chris Lewis was right. I need a Domestic CIO. I don’t want to do it. Interested parties should apply in line through the usual channels. Hours 24x7x365 (no you can’t have Christmas Day off – that is one of the busiest days of the year for a Domestic CIO). Salary on application.

PS the Tower of London is a great day out for the family. Have your PA coordinate a trip there or mention it to your Domestic CIO.


5 replies on “Job Vacancy – Domestic CIO, Davies household”

Nice piece Tref – as a freelance I act as my business IT admin as well, which is always exciting when the kit goes wrong on deadline day.

A second point – there’s an effort to introduce femtocells, such as the Vodafone SureSignal, to improve mobile coverage in the home (as well as offloading the macro networks, and shifting the cost of backhaul and energy to the customer). Your household illustrates a key gotcha with this strategy – what happens if you need/want a femtocell but the family uses three different mobile providers?

No mobile provider is going to go the trouble of paying for the rollout and ongoing management of a femtocell network and then open it up to their competitor’s traffic, even if they did get the user to buy the thing in the first place. I predict a shift to more family subscriptions – or operators looking to use WiFi offload instead.


This strikes a chord with me too, and we only have a few laptops, one Blackberry and an iPod touch in the house. When the printer will only print from one port on one of our four computers, or we need a new wireless router with an off button for the wireless bit to prevent after bedtime use (something not often mentioned in the specs), or my youngest can’t remember the username and password for the monster he adopted online, who has to sort it out? Moi. I don’t want this job either :-(.

In our house we have 3 Laptops, 2 PCs, XBOX, Wii, iPhone, Blackberry and a whole other bunch of internet connected devices. Unfortunately when something goes wrong i’m the one who has to fix it, when someone forgets a password, i have to try and retrieve it. Seems like i already have this job but i certainly didn’t ask for it!

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