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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • Don't take the CIO at his word here. Note that Southwest Airlines, which has a similar business model to Jet Blue, and has been doing it a hell of a lot longer, has always turned a profit also. I have no idea what Southwest uses in their IT department.

    The CIO has to say something good about his decision to standardize on MS, right? It was his decision, after all.

    The fact that so much of the Web is run by Unix/Apache, so many palmtops are Palm OS, so many corporate databases are Oracle says something ab

    • by ziggy (25) on 2003.04.23 12:30 (#19381) Journal
      The CIO has to say something good about his decision to standardize on MS, right? It was his decision, after all.
      Yes, and it appears that he made a sound business decision, based on a handful of objective metrics that impact the bottom line. He's bucking the common wisdom that (1) you need multiple platforms to run an enterprise and (2) an all Microsoft shop is a solution for managers who don't know any better. These were conscious decisions he took for JetBlue, and interestingly enough, it seems to be having a net positive impact on the bottom line.
      The fact that so much of the Web is run by Unix/Apache, so many palmtops are Palm OS, so many corporate databases are Oracle says something about economies of scale to be had with non-MS products.
      You seem to be missing the point here. Internally, JetBlue is in a better position if it standardizes on a single platform: A320 and Microsoft Windows being two examples. The trickledown reduction in complexity for the organization in terms of training, support and parts inventory directly impacts the bottom line. This kind of standardization allows the organization to be leaner and more frugal.

      Forget about Windows for a moment. The same things would be true of an organization that standardizes on RedHat + MySQL + Apache + Perl + KDE, if such a stack were comparable to everything Microsoft offers today. However, there is no single-vendor end-to-end stack available today, except from Microsoft. The issue is less about Microsoft than it is about standardizing on a single platform across the enterprise.

      Anyone thinking long term will realize that if you completely standardize on one vendor, that one vendor could double their price to you tomorrow and you'd have to pay it. Anyone following MS pricing, which goes up in a recession, realizes what can happen.
      The function of a CIO is to keep the IT infrastructure humming so that the business can do its job. There's a factor of active planning involved, and a much larger factor of day-to-day management and budget management. As a CIO, I would be remiss in my duty to the shareholders if I architected a large, complex, costly multivendor IT infrastructure that is unnecessarily complex and does not outperform a simpler one infrastructure.

      Hypothetical arguments that my costs may be more in the future do not help a CIO do his job (and contain costs) today. Things move slowly in this industry, and if something comes to pass that one or more of my platforms becomes a liability (higher costs, greater insecurity), then a good CIO will address those issues if and when they come up.

      The received wisdom in IT planning is that you absolutely need heterogeneity in IT. JetBlue is questioning that assertion, and it sounds like they're coming out ahead (if the nonexistant numbers are to be believed). That is, they're accepting the risks of a single vendor solution and the security risks of Microsoft products, and realizing their cost savings in reduced staffing, training and inventory.

      You can standardize on MS clients, Unix or IBM Mainframes in the back office and Palm on the palmtops and have similar cost savings. After all, you really wouldn't want the same people supporting clients, big databases and palmtops anyway, so you might as well put the best product in where it makes sense.
      That's just more received wisdom. This article claims that assertion, although widely believed, is wrong. Or at least not universally true.
      There is some argument for interoperability, but be careful not to overstate the advantages. Further, with one vendor everywhere, you are in an inflexible position if you find an important technology becomes available and your vendor isn't doing it yet, or well. Think about having standardized on MS in 1995 and suddenly finding out you needed a Web presence.
      Again, a CIO does not run his business on hypotheticals, but on risk management. It's not 1995 anymore. And Microsoft is arguably more interested in staying at the leading edge of the curve than, say, HPaq or Sun.
        • Yes, and it appears that he made a sound business decision, based on a handful of objective metrics that impact the bottom line.

        Appearances can be deceptive. This article is not exactly bristling with objective metrics.

        This CIO chose Office 2003 over XP for its XML support. XML support that is mostly a marketing checkoff as, by all accounts, it lacks interoperability and formatting information. Sounds like he's got a One Microsoft Way story to tell and he's pushing it for all it's worth.

        • He's bucking
        • Appearances can be deceptive. This article is not exactly bristling with objective metrics.

          I'll grant that this article is hardly brimming with real information. Yet I still find myself intrigued with the idea that eliminating non-MS platforms from an enterprise could possibly reduce overall IT costs. Specifically, that the same economic factors that aid jetBlue and Southwest to save money by standardizing on a single model of aircraft may also be a factor in IT.

          If Linux/Apache delivers better p