Old computers in Shady Land
December 16, 2010
There are better technologies for businesses these days than relying on desktop PCs and Microsoft Windows, at least as far as most tasks are concerned. Marco Ament spoke about the issues surrounding adoption of ChromeOS, but the same goes for the iPad, or even Macs in general. Simply put, the immediate strain on the current year’s budget becomes an argument against such an IT revolution.
That’s why that PC on your banker’s desk is probably running Windows 2000, an 11-year-old platform: because it’s extraordinarily expensive to update it, and the current system works acceptably without any massive, one-time expenditures on this year’s budget.
The same is true in Shady Land, where finding a modern computer appliance warrants a “Eureka!” The reality is that Shady Land computing is abysmal: computers run operating systems that have already surpassed Microsoft’s “end of life” date, and where the base word processing application is three versions old. Database queries are done on a daily basis using what amounts to a VAX back-end, and there is no consolidated attempt to streamline this access. Why? Not only are there cost issues like in big-business enterprises, but here we have to deal with “lowest cost” bids that get us little bang for our buck.
And then there’s the issue of perceived longevity:
In the context of replacing business software platforms, longevity is a major requirement. For Chrome OS to be considered by any reasonably large business, their IT decision-makers are going to want to know that Chrome OS is going to be around and supported by Google many years from now.
At least as far as Apple is concerned, there are small waves being made in Shady Land to adopt Apple computers to support certain functions, even though the mainstay computer remains a Microsoft Windows machine. As Apple’s future is now more certain than it was back when OS X was released, IT managers should be able to lean on Apple products more now, yet there’s still resistance. Resistance likely linked to cost.
But when it comes to a platform like ChromeOS, or even something more solidly defined in the consumer space like the iPad (which can easily manage most tasks a typical Operator needs to perform in the office), the resistance from IT managers is fierce. For one, will the platform be around long-term? And two, how can security issues pertaining to the cloud ever be juggled?
That second question is a huge issue, because even if there was a guarantee that ChromeOS and iOS will be around for a long time to come, and requisite apps are available, Shady Land will never rely on a platform solution that stores data in the cloud, or even pulls updates from a server wirelessly. In fact, unless enterprise customers can roll out updates through their own servers instead of directly through Apple, and on a wired connection, it’s likely that Shady Land will never see these types of devices adopted.