Who Controls the Future of Technology?
I read an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal today, then got to my inbox to find both it and its opposite forwarded to me by Brad.
The Journal says that the consumerization of technology wins out in the end, and that:
In the past, CIOs and their staff had a reputation for being snarky, geeky guys who were always looking for ways to tell employees what they couldn’t do. Now, at the most progressive companies, the tech department’s main job isn’t to say no. Instead, it’s to find a way to let employees safely run any device or program they like. The thinking goes like this: Employees are most productive when they’re allowed to work with the tools that make them happy.
The Times says that it’s all about the CIO when talking about Oracle:
Oracle needs global exposure, and Mr. Hurd needs people who will testify to other big buyers on his behalf…Oracle became big in its 36 years thanks to one of the strongest sales cultures in technology. You can find so many of its former sales executives throughout the industry that sometimes is seems like the Valley’s finishing school for deals. And whatever the business, sales still is all about relationships.
So which is right? It’s hard to imagine that the sentiment in the Journal piece doesn’t win out in the end or at least that the truth lies somewhere in the middle. Yes, there are still big enterprise software and hardware deals all over the place, and there probably always will be. But even the biggest and most complex applications like databases are subject to disruption from below, freemium business models, and open source products. Courting users, not just people who control budgets (perhaps both), is what a contemporary enterprise software salesforce has to focus on.