The Gartner Group predicts that 20% to 25% of computers going into the corporate sector will be some form of network computer/NetPC by the year 2001.
That conclusion covers all network computer devices, says Bob Hayward, Brisbane-based vice-president of Gartner Group Asia-Pacific.
“Gartner has done studies comparing and contrasting the cost of owning NCs, Net-Win terminals and NetPCs, and Dataquest [a subsidiary of Gartner Group] analyst Neil MacDonald will be in Australia sharing the results at Gartner’s Brisbane IT symposium next month.”
The network computing model will be probed from all angles, with several workshops on total cost of ownership, the implication for servers and network computing development tools.
Hayward says there is no simple answer on whether a company should go down the NC road. “It’s very much horses for courses, these things make a lot of sense in certain situations but you have to do some research on what they can offer your business. Overall, I think we’re reasonably positive about them.”
Hayward says Gartner’s Corporate Symposium/ITxpo 97 won’t have a lot of surprises on what the technology trends are but there will be a lot of emphasis on the issues IT managers face.
“As far as technology issues go, the trends are Microsoft-Intel domination,--
e-commerce and network computing — no real surprises there. But one thing that we will be emphasising is that it’s not all just technology.
“We’ll be covering issues that real managers have to struggle with. Things such as recruitment and staff retention, aligning yourself with your business units, total cost of ownership and bench-mark-ing.”
Hayward says staffing levels in particular are a problem that IT managers are perpetually battling with.
“There are about four million programmers worldwide and advertised vacancies for about 400,000, or about 10%. If you walk into any data centre and ask if they have space for a programmer, they say yes. We’ll be talking about staff retention, how you pay staff, how you keep them motivated, how you organise your data centre and training. We’ll also be looking at educating business units and general managers about technology. Over the past 20 years general mangers have concentrated on learning about financial issues. Now they are having to learn about technology.”
More than 30 Gartner Group analysts from the US and worldwide will be speaking at the conference, as well as speakers from other IT organisations. Hayward says that generally 20% of attendees are from New Zealand. The conference runs from October 15 to 17 in Brisbane.