I've been talking to a lot of customers about Data Studio over the past few months. Some of the more "seasoned" customers ask an interesting question -- "We've seen IBM go after this lifecycle management problem before with the AD/Cycle product. Why should we believe this attempt with Data Studio is going to be more successful?" In my view, there are several key reasons why we believe Data Studio will have a different outcome:
- AD/Cycle was conceived almost 20 years ago. At that time, hardware was the primary cost issue customers faced when planning for their IT budget, so the cost of running the application and data life cycle was not a pivotal financial issue. Today, the majority of our customers' IT budgets are associated with the people that build and manage the applications, run the data center, etc. Customers are very focused on solutions that can reduce human labor cost, allow them to run their existing servers more efficiently, and in general get more out of their current IT infrastructure. Data Studio is intended to help on all of those fronts.
- In the IBM company that exists today (unlike 20 years ago), we have a large number of software offerings that already address significant portions of the life cycle issue: the Rational family of products for application design and development activities, the Tivoli product line for system management and monitoring, and a wealth of data management tools such as the offerings from our Optim product family (formerly known as Princeton SoftTech). The missing piece in this puzzle is the solution that incorporates all the data management activities into a cohesive data and application life cycle management solution. This of course is the role Data Studio intends to play.
- There is also a major difference in the financial investment IBM is making in Data Studio. IBM believes there is a very strong need in the industry for an integrated data and application life cycle management solution. We've created a product development organization that dwarfs any past investment by IBM in this space. We've assembled a team of developers with deep expertise in all the technology areas that need to be addressed by Data Studio. We fully expect that this team will provide some very innovative solutions that allow customers to significantly reduce the cost of system management, monitoring, problem determination, etc.
- Lastly, we're delivering the technology in a way that will allow customers to adopt the solution incrementally, rather than deliver a monolithic system that requires years of planning to deploy. Customers will be able to deploy individual solutions (data archiving, test data generation, end-to-end elapsed time monitoring for WebSphere application, etc.). This will allow customers to consume the Data Studio solution at whatever pace they like, without major disruption to their existing system management process.
I hope I've addressed this common question. If you have any comments or other things you'd like to see me or someone else blog about, either add a comment to this blog or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
-- Curt Cotner