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Barrier to exit the most understated IT issue says Sun chief

In an address to industry analysts, CIO, IT directors and senior IT management, Sun Microsystems chairman and CEO Scott McNealy laid out his vision of how IT should be deployed in corporations in what he called the age of participation.

As he made his points in a typically uncompromising and bravura fashion, Mr McNealy told ComputerWeekly.com that the most important issue facing IT management these days was the cost of dealing with the replacement of technology, or as he put, it the barrier to exit.

He commented: "when companies bring in technology there are three things that they need to do and they are typically good at two. Companies are good at figuring out the cost of acquisition and negotiating good deals. They are also good at on the ongoing cost of operations and maintenance. However all technology has a shelf life and the cost of replacement, the barrier to exit, is an order of magnitude more expensive. "

Mr McNealy pointed out that Sun's strategy was to adopt a no lock-in policy that removed this barrier and ultimately made Sun-based solutions more appealing for IT directors. He quipped: "people brag how easy it is to get off Sun; it may seem tactically wrong, but strategically it is right." .

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