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Reader Response on IT Maturity

An interesting e-mail came in the other day from Phil Koster, a systems engineer for Data Strategy, a consulting company that specializes in VMware solutions. Phil had read my blog on the maturity of the IT market (or, more accurately, the lack thereof) and said he was going to comment here on the site but thought the response might be too long. Instead, he replied in his own blog. Phil disagreed with some of my comments and raised some interesting points for future discussion. (I want to think about his comments a little bit before I respond.) In any event, here's the first part of Phil's post followed by a link to his site if you'd like to read the whole thing.

I was reading a blog posting on when IT technology will mature. I disagree with Tom in that according to his definition, the IT industry as a whole is not mature. I also disagree in the appropriateness of using that definition. Tom defines market maturity as "Mature markets have certain characteristics and one is that at some point seemingly endless cycles of innovation begin to fade. At the same time, technology curves, products, and end user familiarity and comfort levels...settles in to a known model with reasonably predictable characteristics."

There is no defined timeline in this definition. I think that alone leads to confusion. How many TRUE technological advances has the IT. industry seen in the last 15 years? Once every few years a TRULY revolutionary technology comes along. Not a mild enhancement on an old idea but a true, new technology. Look at Virtualization for example. IBM Mainframes started doing virtualization in what, the 60's, 70's? VMware, Citrix, Microsoft, et el are just moving that concept to a new platform (the x86). While this is "new" and cool, it is conceptually decades old (admittedly with some GREAT tweaks depending on what specific product you look at). But what is MS Terminal Services other than a MS proprietary form of the old terminal/mainframe idea? Adding thin clients only increases that parallel.

How is this different than cars or motorcycles or telephones or anything else? The only difference is the frequencies in which these innovations occur. For cars, it can be decades. For the PC, it can be less than a year.

(Click here to continue.)

Posted by Tom Valovic on 12/03/2008 at 12:49 PM


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