All or Nothing?

Why is it always “all or nothing” in the IT world?

The prevailing wisdom these days is that PCs are dead, and that everybody will move to smart phones, tablets and the cloud. This is hogwash. First of all, PCs are far from dead. If you need to perform calculations (spreadsheet), write (word processor), or deliver a presentation it is still far easier to use a PC or laptop than it is to try to do any of those things on a smart phone or a tablet. Sure, a lot of folks (me included) use tablets and smart phones to do quick Internet searches, browsing and keeping up with social media. But when I really want to do some research on the web, I use my PC and the Chrome web browser.

I don’t know about you, but I want to be able to download and store information from the web. I want to be able to run applications like word processors and spreadsheets. I want to be able to do my taxes on my computer. And today the PC is still the best platform for doing all of this. There may come a day when these applications are accessible and usable over the web, but not yet… not for me.

If you moved everything to the cloud and relied on applications in the cloud, what would happen to productivity if Internet service gets disconnected? You’d be dead in the water! But with applications installed on my PC I can still get work done… a lot of work done… without the Internet. Heck, if I’m not being interrupted by Twitter and Facebook and e-mail, maybe I’d get more work done without the Internet…  no, that would be adopting an all-or-nothing attitude – and that is what I am complaining about here! I’m not a Luddite and I don’t want to ignore the cloud and personal smart devices, I just don’t want to see my tried-and-true PC platform shuffled off this mortal coil before its time (yes, I’m talking to you Microsoft and your ridiculous Windows 8).

And what about mainframe access? Terminal emulation is usually done via a Windows PC. And don’t let me hear you say that mainframes are dead, either! Many of the world’s largest companies rely on mainframes to keep their business running and gain competitive advantage over their rivals.

So let’s not say things like “everybody” or “always” or “never”… let’s look to be inclusive and to add worthy new technology to our arsenal without the need to necessarily jettison technology that still works and still provides value… OK?

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About craig@craigsmullins.com

I'm a strategist, researcher, and consultant with nearly three decades of experience in all facets of database systems development.
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