IBM: don’t be afraid to ‘bare’ your business on the Web

The first step for a business heading down the e-commerce path is overcoming psychological hurdles, says IBM's New York-based Richard Michos. Michos, the IBM director of RS/6000 transaction processing and IBM server group clusters, says the challenge for businesses in e-commerce is to overcome the psychological hurdle that they are opening up the fabric of their business, outside of their traditional domain.

The first step for a business heading down the e-commerce path is overcoming psychological hurdles, says IBM’s New York-based Richard Michos.

Michos, the IBM director of RS/6000 transaction processing and IBM server group clusters, says the challenge for businesses in e-commerce is to overcome the psychological hurdle that they are opening up the fabric of their business, outside of their traditional domain.

He says people are now more comfortable with establishing some access, such as a Web site.

“The next step is doing some enablement.”

Michos says a high level of integration, such as IBM provides, will be important in e----commerce.

“People are going to be hesitant to select technology in pieces.”

Even if they did, putting it together and keeping it working is a “monumental” task, and IT staff aren’t poised to deal with it, because IT budgets are being consumed by year 2000 work.

“In that regard there’s some worry that the level of investment companies are going to make is going to be throttled.”

He says the next few years will be a tenuous time for IT people.

“There are so many forces at work — year 2000, business re-engineering, supply chain, how to deal with NT in the enterprise. These are the things that will make an IT director’s hair fall out. They’re not glamorous, but they’re critical.”

He says there is also concern that because so much work is being done on core technology, innovation will be thwarted.

“But we’ve been around long enough to know that there will be innovation and people talking about things in two years that none of us are even thinking about today.”

Michos’s visit to New Zealand was to talk to customers about IBM’s recent announcements, such as its 64-bit servers. Michos says his message is that performance has been improved dramatically with the server line. The S70 server has demonstrated performance two to three times greater than past IBM products.

In conjunction with the server, IBM has also released version 4.3 of its AIX operating system, which can run both 32-bit and 64-bit applications.

Michos says the software and hardware releases mean that customers can run a 32-bit application today but prepare for that application moving to 64-bit by moving to the new level of AIX now.

Similarly, they can upgrade their current hardware and still run the existing application in 32-bit mode — and then when the 64-bit application becomes available, “they’re set”.

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