In this ESG360 Video, ESG's Steve Duplessie and Mark Peters discuss the evolution of IT.
Read the related ESG Blog: Talking IT Evolution
Announcer: The following is an ESG 360 video.
Mark: Sometimes time and perspective matters more than we realize. And I think every so often, we work in such a fast-moving industry with all its components and incremental advantages and so many competing vendors, just occasionally, it's good to take a step back and think what has changed and what is changing in what we generally call IT. Got a couple of minutes here with Steve, obviously, the founder of our company. Been in the IT business a long time.
I view this, I'm going to bounce this off you, that really what we've seen if you step back and look at the changes, 10, 20 years ago everything was about technology, people were genuinely waiting for the next little increment because they couldn't do things. Now you can do a lot as long as you've got the time and the resources to get it done.
So we went through how are we all gonna figure this out. We're gonna talk about TCO because IT became more of a...you know, got focus on it. And now we really seem, I think, to be moving towards an area where it's more about the outcomes, the ROI, what does this mean for my business. Do you agree? Is that how the world has moved?
Steve: Well, let me put it in this context, IT has existed for over 50 years in one manifestation or another. For the preponderance of that 50 years, it has been exactly as you said. I build a thing to solve a problem. The problem tends to be technical in nature. I solve that problem, I create another problem and so on and so on and so on. And so IT evolved as a never-ending series of specialized problems solvers. Didn't matter if it was a product or people. Everybody was hyper-focused in that particular area. I look at us...there's been analyst firms around as long as there's been IT and everything else around. Same thing.
We have people that focus, hyper-focus on specialized areas that understand markets or technologies or whatever it is within that particular box and they understand it better than anyone. The way that people buy now or the way that the entire industry has shaped itself really over the last, you could say 10 years, but pragmatically, it has been less than five years, is businesses have digitized.
And when I say that, you still need stuff, don't get me wrong. But the decisioning is not necessarily based on finding this particular stuff. The decisioning is line of businesses. And people are focused on outcomes, not how you got there. People don't care quite as much. And we as a firm can't care quite as much. So the business of IT has become horizontal. Mostly, I find it really interesting because the buyers are now at sort of that same level.
Mark: Okay. That interests me because I'm not an engineer. And to some degree, I used to be concerned that I couldn't have these nitty-gritty conversations, and now I'm pleased I can't because not that they're unimportant, I don't mean that one iota. That's vital like my carburetor better work and when I put the windshield wipers, they'd better work. But I'm more interested in the car and its various attributes and where it's going and how much I pay for it, and I don't want to get into all the cool analogies about zip cars and renting and all that jazz. But it is very similar. And now having that ability to have a transportation conversation does seem, to me, to be not just what buyers want, but what vendors are talking about as well.
Steve: Well, bottom line is vendors have to talk about it in that context because that is what buyers want. So, I need to understand from you Mr. Supplier, whoever you are, in my IT organization, I've got a GDPR issue. I've got a pick your flavor of the day. I've got a ransomware issue. I've got a governance issue. I've got more meta-macro business trends kind of thing because I can solve any specific problem.
You know, as you stated earlier, it's not hard to find a piece of technology and plug it into that particular hole. It's more important to understand why does that hole exist and how does it fit into my overall business schema. So if the vendor community is still speaking only speeds and feeds to only someone who cares about speeds and feeds, that part of our world is becoming more and more secular and shrinking all of the time.
Mark: I just want to have a quick conversation about this because it really has changed. But I think the summary I take from that, just to use a phrase that Steve just use, is all those individual holes that we used to realize existed and we will continue plugging and now, of course, we're talking about the whole of IT. Thanks for watching.