If You Have a Hammer Everything Looks Like a Nail

Hammer and NailWhile most of the EMC news is about the takeover by Dell and what to do with VMware, EMC still has a business to run. Part of running a business is to let everyone know you are still very relevant. That is of course the task of marketing operations and is usually done by pushing out content on new product releases, partnerships, seminars, high profile deals, advert(orial)izing etc.

Or, for that matter, publishing results of market research that is relevant to ones potential customers. What is relevant to (potential) customers is of course debatable but to make the outcome of research interesting for media the key message needs to contain some sort of FUD factor (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt). Bad news travels faster and is more impactful.

A recent survey carried out by Arlington Research on behalf of EMC Converged Platform Group was titled “Endangered IT, IT needs to reclaim technology or lose its voice forever”.  Throughout January and February this year 2741 business executives and IT professionals of companies with more than 50 employees across 13 countries in Europe, Middle East and Africa were approached. Let’s assume they interviewed 250 executives in large countries such as UK, France and Germany and 200 in the remaining smaller countries. One of those countries was the Benelux so we have to assume that some 100 people were interviewed  in the Netherlands to prove Dutch relevance. Fortunately the issue at stake is of universal nature so the small local survey sample is not of overriding importance.

The questions of the online survey regarded the growing gap between IT and business. Not exactly a revolutionary theme and the fact that there is a gap is by itself not new; it has been there since the creation of the IT department. Moreover the existing gap apparently is widening. Nothing new there either. A widening gap between IT and business is not good for business in a time where “every business is now a technology business”. The problem, according to the report, is: business and IT don’t speak the same language, IT thinks business doesn’t get it, business thinks IT can’t handle it. Therefore, as business calls the shots, IT is losing influence or, as the title of the report suggests, is becoming an endangered species.

The report is in a way interesting in that it shows once again that over the last 50 years nothing has really changed in the relation between IT and business; they do not even agree on who is in charge of IT. However it is common knowledge that to meet the challenges surrounding innovation and business growth business and IT should be aligned.

But EMC takes it one step further. After all, it is the EMC Converged Platform Group that commissioned the research. As a result the solution to the problem of an unaligned business and IT situation is … to build a flexible, scaleable converged infrastructure. The  survey shows  that “Over 80% of all business leaders say that a scalable, flexible IT infrastructure will reduce risk by providing a solid foundation for business growth and innovation”. If you have a hammer everything looks like a nail.