Enterprises Want It All and Want It Now

When I heard last week that Oracle is “losing
with key providers of virtualization technology, I
confess that my first reaction was something like, “What’s to lose?”

I’ve never thought of patience as Oracle’s defining characteristic,
and I say that more as compliment than as critique. The company has
always struck me as having a pretty clear picture of what it wanted,
and as having the resources and the will to build it or buy—on an
aggressive timetable—whatever it couldn’t find.

Seeing that phrase made me wonder, though, if “The Year of Losing
Patience” might be a well-chosen label for all of 2006 in the IT realm.

  • Systems builders like Dell are losing patience with Intel’s
    leisurely pace of improving performance per watt and are adopting
    alternative CPUs
    from AMD.
  • Application developers are losing patience with Microsoft’s glacial
    toward shipping a delayed and
    defeatured Vista operating system—with continuing concern and
    about the security improvements that are almost Vista’s
    only remaining selling proposition.
  • In-house federal government watchdogs are losing patience with
    executive branch agencies and their continuing failure to protect key
    data, and are telling them to have improved technology and practices in
    place by—ummm—today

IBM has responded to this climate, making its clocks run faster to
match its buyers’ demands for more rapid response to new opportunities
and requirements. Packaged offerings like IBM’s “Grid and
bundles let IT buyers think of themselves as buyers of
business solutions, rather than experimenters and integrators of
bleeding-edge technology.

Apple is doing much the same thing in the consumer space, positioning Macs as ready
to come out of the box and do stuff — while PCs, Apple would have
buyers believe, require far more tedious setup and constant
maintenance. IBM
is executing well, it seems to me, on its similar strategy in the
enterprise space  — making better speed along a path that Sun has long
sought to define
as its own.

Tell me who’s taking positions that serve your interests at

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