Behemoths and "Business-Driven"
Over at InformationWeek, Bob Evans tells us about the slug-fest between IBM and Oracle for dominance in the "most-powerful systems on the planet" market.
[W]hat Oracle and IBM are engaged in is a very fundamental transformation of the value proposition and structure of the IT-industry business model away from the DIY model where customers buy tons of components and then spend many months putting them together, and toward a near-term future where huge and rapidly reconstituting IT powerhouses do the engineering, assembly, tuning, integration, and optimizations for the customer.
And they're driving toward being the leaders of a cohesive world of business-driven systems rather than a fragmented world of wonderful but disconnected stuff.
If the "huge and rapidly reconstituting IT powerhouses" have difficulty even engineering, assembling, tuning, integrating, and optimizing their own org charts, how likely is it that they'll be able to do the same with systems for their customers. More importantly, what's the likelihood that the resulting systems will be business-driven and cohesive?
Why should we believe that, at any point in the not-too-distant future, we won't need to buy a bunch of stuff and smash it together? IBM comes close with System i, but that's a relatively small ecosystem that appears not to have influenced IBM's larger strategy; Oracle tries to do so with its applications; but how many companies just buy stuff from these two companies and magically get them up and running?
Isn't the fact that they can't do that one of the main drivers behind Software-as-a-Service (Saas), and one of the main reasons small-to-midsized specialist vendors can compete with them?
I think IBM and Oracle would love for us to believe that they're cohesive and business-driven. I just have yet to see any evidence that it's true.