Is It Time to Rethink IT's Priorities?

At Interop, Citrix's CEO explains why the industry needs major change before it can grow.
LAS VEGAS -- Citrix President and CEO Mark Templeton is not bullish on the current state of the economy, especially for IT. When taking the keynote stage here at Interop, he had a very stark message for attendees: Things are not going well for IT and dramatic change is necessary.

"It's time to rethink everything that we know about enterprise computing," Templeton declared. "Thinking different alone isn't enough either -- we're going to have to start doing things different."

While economic experts debate whether the U.S. economy is in a full-blown economic crisis, Templeton isn't shy about claiming that IT business is already in a recession.

In fact, he argued that the IT business has been suffering since 2001.

Before the dot-com bust, IT revenues typically grew at double-digit growth raters. Since 2001, however, IT revenues have only by 3 to 5 percent per year.

"Our cost models are out of whack ... 80 percent of IT costs are fixed," Templeton said. "Innovation is under-funded and the improvements we're making are incremental."

The way forward is a more open, service-oriented architecture, he said -- but he also agreed that such as solution is far easier said than done.

"The complexity we have around legacy is weighing us down and is the biggest obstacle we have to getting to the service-oriented era," Templeton said.

Templeton challenged audience members to think about their own environments and how different they might be if they had the luxury of staring from scratch today.

Without the benefit of starting over, IT can still undertake a number of initiatives to improve its fortunes and effectiveness.

For starters, users need to be given simple, fast and on-demand experiences to enable self service. They also will benefit from greater device, network and application independence, since they need increased flexibility.

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