Monday, February 18, 2008

The Right Strategy for Customers

There have been significant trends and changes in the IT industry. Some of them include:
  • Main Frame systems
  • Client/Server
  • Distributed systems
  • Multi-tiered platforms with application servers
  • Open Source
It's important to understand each of these is a technology to help meet business goals. Open source is currently an area of high growth and interest in the industry. The cost benefits provide organizations with a lot of flexibility in how they put their infrastructures together. Global markets and competition are putting even more pressure on IT organizations to make the right decisions.

I was talking to a friend about what organizations are doing with open source strategies. The result of the conversation ended with it is not about an open source strategy. It is more about developing the "right customer strategy" and if and how open source can play a role in helping a customer meet their business objectives and goals.

I've always felt as a DBA/manager, the more options I have the better decisions I can make. Including open source solutions in the decision process helps make sure customers are looking at their overall strategy in addressing challenges they are facing. No one technology solution is the best solution for every problem that exists. Oracle Enterprise Edition, Oracle Standard Edition, Oracle Express, MySQL, Oracle Application Server, Apache, JBoss, BEA, Eclipse, JDeveloper, Linux, PHP, Ruby on Rails, etc. all have features that can leverage what customers are trying to do. I have nothing against Windows or IBM it has just been my preference to work with Oracle and MySQL environments. Oracle and BEA have played well in the large enterprise commercial environments. MySQL has played well in Internet and web applications. For anyone to say other vendors do not provide a good solution is pretty closed minded. What I like to do is understand what a customer is trying to do and weigh the pros and cons and let them make the decision that is best for customer.

Most companies are running different types of applications.
  • Java and SOA are extremely scalable and powerful solutions that are great when those benefits are needed.
  • Ruby on Rails and PHP are great for web based applications that do not need a lot of database features.
There are current and future costs and ramifications associated with hardware, database, application server and application development decisions. With all the options out there customers need to make sure they align their purchases with their business objectives.

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