Is ROI a ‘Bogus’ Indicator of IT Value?

PHOENIX—The focus on return on investment as an indicator of IT value is actually bogus and is increasingly not being seen as the best way to measure technology decisions, Stephen Walli, a former employee of Microsoft and Optaros, said at the Gartner Open Source Summit here September 28.

In an address entitled “Enterprise Open Source: Delivering Value Versus Cutting Costs,” Walli said that rethinking IT strategy with open-source software enables the IT organization to get back to supporting the business rather than focusing on simple cost management.

For more on insuring ROI, read: July 2006 Survey: The Bitter Truth About ROI

Walli worked at Microsoft for five years, first as its Unix go-to person and then, later, was tasked by Jim Allchin [who is currently co-president of Microsoft’s platforms and services division] to examine exactly what open source was and what it meant for their business.

“I was not tasked to try and kick the legs out from open source,” he quipped.

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