I was out the other day with a couple of our customers. One of them made a comment that amused me – he said (paraphrased) “Technology is no cure for stupidity.”
It struck me as a very amusing – and yet, clearly, true. What really struck me was thinking about the cool things that happen when you can give really smart people, great technology. It really does create that multiplier effect.
Think about the attributes of technology and skill. Using myself as an example; I like Golf but I am not a good golfer – awful is a closer description. I think I am just too much type A for the game - I try to out think everything. This is a golfing disaster. My plan is if you want the ball to go further just swing harder (for those of you who don’t play golf this really doesn’t work). I can buy the best golf gear in the world and, while it does improve my game, there is simply no amount of technology that is going get me into the PGA. Those of you who have golfed with me know two things: 1 – this is true and 2 – always stand behind me when I am hitting as the full 180 degree arc in front of me is fair game….
Yet when you look at the best players in any sport, most use the best technology. Why? Because it also makes a difference! In fact, I would say that it can even have a multiplier effect. Just turn on the X-games as think about doing those motorcycle jumps with 30 year old technology….
There is this “notion” going around IT that it is just becoming a commodity and “IT doesn’t matter.” I guess it also falls into my philosophy that folks feel the need to make bold statements (doesn’t matter if it is true) to get attention. Sure, there are always components or features that suppliers may have in common (and are, hence, more of a commodity) but that is not the whole story. Technology is moving faster than ever before. Innovation is happening at incredible rates and we are spending more on innovation than ever before.
And IT does matter.
To me, “IT Doesn’t matter” is just like those infamous phrases like “everything that can be invented has already been invented” – people should just know better.
Not only will IT technology continue to advance, different features will provide differentiation based on various trends. Invention is not linear; neither are customer priorities or wants. Just a few years ago, few people cared about power and cooling. Today, a critical aspect of data center construction and product selection is based on power and cooling costs. This need, like most, will drive innovation.
As an interesting side-note, I am even hearing more customers start to talk about dynamically moving compute workloads based on spot-market power costs! And I thought doing the laundry at night was a big deal….
At the end of the day the proof will be in the results but I can assure you that technology and innovation are alive and well in IT.