Thursday, 25 January 2007

IT as a utility

Nicolas Carr, in a quite interesting post on his blog comments on Google's apparent aspirations in the Software as a Service (SaaS) market.

He quotes Dave Girouard, enterprise market guru at Google with this question:

"Why should every company in the world have to build up their own expertise and have to maintain servers and provide security?"

The obvious answer coming to my mind at least is: "Because it could be a competitive advantage!" If your competitor's IT staff or security team isn't up to speed he could well be trailing miles behind you. If IT becomes a utility, as Mr. Carr and others seem to believe, it would negate the business advantage one can gain by employing competent people. If that's good or bad can be debated, of course. I for one would always favor internal experts over outsourced know-how. Why? Trust! I'd rather trust the people in my employ, bound by the rules of their contract, company policies etc. than some faceless utility provider. Call me conservative in that respect, but let's not devaluate power of in-house competence just yet!

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