Sunday, April 11, 2010

Not Everyone Attends the Tech Conferences

One of the things I find interesting about the latest rounds of industry consolidations and unified offerings from vendors (VCE, SMT, HP Matrix, etc.) is the level of bickering over minutia from the technologists. Not just the technologists from the vendors, because that's expected as they try to defend and position their solutions, but from the technologists at partners (Channel Partners, Global Systems Integrators, etc.) and customers. 
I understand that there is some technology religion involved in these discussions, and a level of control that technologists want to retain over the choices they are being offered. But let's stop for a second and realize that these details are not addressing the bigger picture. They are arguing definitions or data-sheets instead of discussing how to move to Cloud Computing models that are most flexible and cost-effective.

Let me give an example. If you are on the leading-edge of the Data Center industry, you see demonstrations like VMworld 2009 and realize that incredible transformations are possible today. On the other hand, you read examples of 7% utilization in rapidly expanding environments. All joking aside about government inefficiencies, this isn't that unusual of an example. We hear about companies having utilization rates in the low-teens all the time. How is this possible? Aren't these CIOs and technologists attending the tech conferences and keeping up with the latest technical advances? 

Of course they are attending, in fact they get bombarded with "new technologies" all the time. So much technology that it's very difficult for them to keep up, especially if their IT groups are organized by function (applications, computing, network, storage, etc.). 

Cloud Computing is changing all of this. The vendors and providers are beginning to realize that their offerings need to evolve, hence the shift towards unified offerings. The real question is how quickly the technologists will realize that they are being offered a new seat at the table, with an ability to influence business decisions. Their business leaders have been asking for IT to better align to the business for many years, and the pieces are coming together quickly. My hope is that the technologists will take advantage of this shift and let their expertise drive the bigger strategies and discussions that are taking place. They need to be part of those discussions, not spending so many cycles on the minutia of the bits and bytes.

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