When I started ESG in 1999, the IT industry was organized essentially as follows:
- There were a handful of giant players who controlled 90% of the market. You picked your OPERATING environment first, and then you bought their kit, and whatever applications they had, and you CHANGED your company to implement their solutions. If you picked Digital Equipment and you wanted to customize your Ask MANMAN ERP system, you paid out the nose and spent years to get it into production. Same for HP or IBM. You ran their apps the way they told you to. The cost of switching out was insane.
- There were massive capital costs combined with limited skilled knowledge workers. Which translated into “if it ain’t broken, don’t touch it!”
- There were generalists, not specialists. Your IT department consisted of “system” admins – people responsible for making the whole thing run “good enough.” When things broke, they chased down the problems, largely starting blind.