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Data Research DPU for Evaluation of Information Technology

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Bloor Research Group:

The Enterprise By Other Means

An Analysis of the Return to Centralised Computing and its Consequences


The Issues

We had expected that a return to centralised computing would occur, in reaction to the unpleasant side effects of the proliferation of PCs, and it is now coming to pass. Late in 1995 it became clear that a technology trend was already in progress which superseded the trend to client/server computing. It has now become apparent that the changes that this will bring will be more dramatic and more extensive than we previously thought.

 PC computing in the corporation is expensive despite the grand illusion that has developed in the IT industry. The PC introduces costs in many areas that are not a feature of centralised computing, or are much lower in centralised computing.

 Virtually all of the recent trends in computing are towards centralisation. Massively Parallel Processing technology is providing `the LAN in a can', and Thin Client hardware combined with software developed for the Internet will now maintain, and indeed often improve, the quality of the user interface. The arguments in favour of a return to centralisation are now overwhelming. The technology shift will have a major impact upon the strategies of leading IT vendors such as Intel, IBM, Microsoft, Sun and Oracle and the end user community will be forced to reconsider its IT strategies and to formulate a new game plan for playing in a new game.

The Report

This report examines the recent trends in the IT industry - The Thin Client, Browsers, Java, MPP Hardware, The Web - and explains why and how they herald a return to centralised computing. It provides the reader with an analysis of the above issues enabling them to understand where technology will be leading businesses over the next few years, in order that they may prepare to take advantage of new opportunities to gain real competitive advantage.

 A return to centralisation will deliver significant business benefits but will also require significant investment in infrastructure. This 126 page report summarises, in plain English, why the move away from PCs is inevitable and provides business people with advice to help them plan their migration path.

 This report has been written by leading IT industry analyst Robin Bloor, founder and Chief Executive of Bloor Research. He is generally acknowledged as a major authority and influencer in the field of information technology. As one of the foremost commentators on the major issues facing computer professionals, he has been influential in shaping the direction and thinking of a whole generation of IT strategists.

The Content of the Report

  • The Morphology Of Technology - provides an overview of how change occurs in Information Technology and positions the technology changes that are now taking place.
  • The Grand Illusion & The Atomic Price - discusses the problems that have occurred with PC centric computing and analyses the usage of PCs and PC LANS from the `cost per user' viewpoint.
  • The Prodigal Return - describes and explains the technologies involved in the return to centralised computing.
  • Vendors In The Aftermath - provides a review of the positions of major vendors in the light of the changes that are occurring.
  • Legitimate Targets - explains the centralisation of computing from an IT user's perspective and proposes some reasonable targets for IT decision makers to aim at.
  • Decision Making In The Maelstrom - contains advice and ideas to assist in the decision making process in the return to centralised systems.
  • The OS Imperative - discusses the importance of operating systems now that the move to Java is in progress.

Who Should Buy This Report?

  • Business leaders who want their organisations to avoid becoming uncompetitive as new technologies take over.
  • IT Directors and strategists with a need to understand the directions in which the IT industry is moving and IT Managers at all levels who will soon be responsible for implementing radically different IT strategies and policies.
  • Outsourcing specialists who will be presented with a host of new business opportunities to manage new centralised environments.


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