Business case must dominate

Talking to a representative group of IT directors the other day I quickly realised, yet again, the gap between the magic carpet...

Talking to a representative group of IT directors the other day I quickly realised, yet again, the gap between the magic carpet ride of the future and practical reality.

Broadband (however one defines it) does not figure heavily at all. And until there is a compelling business case to use it, and with true broadband-dependent content, the only use for it is for personal consumers, not business ones. For them, broadband is not a campaigning issue.

When it comes to Web services, several did not know what .net is and didn't see it as particularly relevant. Maybe marketing directors do, but these IT directors are going to take a lot of persuading.

Many do not bother much with the Web - sometimes they will dive into their suppliers' sites or look up something on a search engine but they do not routinely surf.

Despite feeling that they have been well and truly stuffed over Microsoft's shenanigans about licensing - and what appear to be its crude attempts to divide and rule - they are not embracing Linux.

However, these corporate users still reckoned they had a choice: to go Windows 2000 or XP. It was considered a "no-brainer" to go 2000. That is a consequence of fears that Microsoft will come to dominate the server as it has the desktop, via a powerful combination of XP and Active Directory. In any case XP could be nine months from stability - especially in networks.

All this goes to confirm that today's IT directors are not dazzled by technology - they are looking for true, tangible, measurable business benefits - now.

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