ZD Net writer David Berlind, fresh from a dinner hosted by storage giant EMC, thinks the time has come for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to stop rolling their own information technology:
“Call me crazy. But it seems to me that the [IT] industry has finally evolved to a point where selling infrastructure (including storage) to SMBs should be like selling regular gasoline to the driver of a truck that runs on diesel fuel. Whether you’re at an existing SMB or about to start one up, it makes almost no sense to insource any IT. (…)”
“I happen to know that the servers we’re using are Dell’s. But, quite frankly, I don’t care about that. Nor should I have to. What I care about is that it (the data) is there when I need it, delivered by the application of my choosing (eg: a Web server, a wiki, etc). In fact, most things that SMBs care about when it comes to their technology infrastructure can be codified in to a service level agreement (SLA) in a way that completely abstracts the underlying infrastructure issues from the managers of an SMB, once they decide to outsource their IT. (…)”
As Berlind suggests, SMBs today would be well advised to approach their IT requirements – both hardware and software – with the assumption that they should be buying services, not assets. Sure, there’ll be plenty of exceptions, but that should be the going-in assumption. If IT isn’t your business, get out of the IT business.