In this morning's New York Times on the Op-Ed page, David Brooksadvises those interested in the Republican Presidentialnomination. What interested me is his description of theelectorate: "They're anxious because there's chaos all around: foreignpolicy chaos, fiscal chaos, cultural chaos. The authoritystructures they rely on have let them down."
Yesterday I had lunch with the account management team at a well-knownadvertising agency. We discussed who we each call on in the sameenterprise sized accounts. As you might imagine, my contacts arethe CIO and IT staff; they speak to the CEO and SVPs when pitchingbusiness. And this makes sense given the strengths and offeringsof each of our organizations. What stunned me was their commentwhen I spoke of how IBM is trying to elevate the role of the CIO fromCost-Center Manager to Advisor to the Business (my descriptions basedupon my reading on w3). Reflexively, one said, "our contacts hatethe IT shop." Other heads nodded.
I think it is because our customers feel that their technologyinvestments are not bearing the returns sought and promised. Certainly speed to market and improved understanding of individualcustomer behaviour has not been commensurate with their costs.
Along comes friendly Google, offering to pay the customer first (a keytenet of Web 2.0), offering a variety of services that reduce thecomplexity and chaos of computing. Salesforce.com is not farbehind in the positive reception to its Software-as-Service Model. Today Google will announce the availability of an enterprise version ofits Communications and Productivity Apps.: e-mail, IM, Calendars, andWeb Pages, Word Processing, and Spreadsheets - plus programs to readand edit Microsoft Word and Excel.
We'll be reading more about this as IBM joined the fray by announcinglast week its own support of Open Docs etc for Linux and Mac-basedoperating systems. I don't expect that Microsoft Office with 450million users will vanish anytime soon. After all, legacy apps,whether hardware or software, are tough to displace. I predictthat customers, especially of the mid-market variety, will evaluateGoogle's latest as a way of reducing some of their Chaos.Christopher Perrien