Vendors a bigger problem than technology

Vendors a bigger problem than technology

Moving to a single architecture to be more flexible and competitive isn't the ideal solution for every enterprise, according to Boeing Constructors IT manager Deven Nambiar.

Being monolithic does not make an organization competitive, he says.

Nambiar admits standardizing on one platform can reduce costs which is what he has done at Boeing Constructors, but a single architecture isn’t the ideal solution for every company as each enterprise is different and has its own unique set of problems.

A complex computing environment isn't Nambiar's biggest challenge.

"Technology isn't a problem; my biggest issue is with the vendors themselves," he said.

“The lifecycle of software is not [helpful to] expected ROIs in an organization; it is a vicious circle.

“The vendors are under pressure to get a good return and push up their share prices so they try and save on development costs.

“In the meantime, we have to justify the cost of constant upgrades.”

Nambiar was responding to claims by Avanade’s technology infrastructure practice director Chris Burry that IT managers need to simplify their architecture, move toward standardization and rationalize in a bid to remove the “layers of abstraction” preventing organizations from taking advantage of utility computing and Web services.

He warned organizations they shouldn’t get hijacked by a hardware-centric view of utility computing where the real agenda is to get customers to buy more hardware.

“Utility computing should be like getting dial tone on the network; you don’t care who built the phone as long as it can be switched on and is ready to use,” Burry said.

The US-based Technology Fellow said the biggest battle IT managers currently face is internal politics.

“The inability to move forward has nothing to do with technology, but trying to get executives within a company to agree on one standard,” he said.

“Instead, [the company] has a large number of point solutions and when aggregrated you have a nightmare that costs a fortune to maintain; it leaves organizations wanting one version of the truth but there is no 100 percent perfect solution; be very suspect of anyone who tells you there is.”

Caboolture (Qld) Shire Council acting IT manager Mark Oost said red tape is a bigger problem for him than internal politics.

“We haven’t standardized entirely; our desktops are standardized but we have two separate server platforms,” he said.

“Integration is an ongoing challenge, but we try to fight it as best we can.”

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