You Need Hardware to Run Software

Could I have written a title with any less pizzazz? Maybe that’s a challenge to those of you that like to comment.


Okay, so I’m going to let you in on a little secret.  You’ve already seen it happen to your desktop pc years ago.  Now it is really picking up in the data center and with telephony.  It is something the hardware vendors in our space don’t want you to know.  Ready for the secret? Hardware is a commodity.  While this has not always been the case, we are certainly seeing significant trends in this direction. 


Take a look at almost any hardware based company.  Look at the products they offer today.  Note how many of them are working to differentiate themselves by the software and services they package with their hardware.


What’s driving this trend?  Well, there are number of factors but a key is open standards software.  Why run open standards software on a proprietary box?  Where’s the value in that?


The truth is that you want hardware to be a commodity.  Hardware can have a short lifespan.  It can be costly and complex to build so that it adapts and grows with your business.  Living, breathing software running on commodity hardware is exactly what is needed.  Minimize your investment in those "paperweights" and maximize the value in your software where you get the biggest return.


One last point, these hardware trends are not just true in the data center running your core business applications.  The trends extend out to your desktop phone, and if you think about it, so do the open standards software.  Just take a look at Joe Staples’ post "What’s in a Phone".


What are your predictions?  What trends do you see happening with hardware?


Signed – “Hardware Guy”