Another Turn of the IT Key

Michael Vizard

The fundamental problem that a lot of people have with enterprise IT is this whole concept of there being some assembly required. From their perspective, they just want to get out of having to do any systems integration at all. In recent months, we've seen a trend towards vendors packaging together turnkey systems that are specifically designed to appeal to customers that have come to resent having to build their own systems.

IBM today took this whole concept one step further with the availability of a new pre-engineered set of technology services that takes a more prescriptive approach to delivering bundled turnkey systems that come integrated with IBM systems management software. According to Jim Comfort, IBM vice president of IBM global technologies service portfolio and offerings, more customers than ever in the wake of the downturn want to be out of the IT integration business. Instead, they want to decrease the mean time to value for their IT investments by getting these systems deployed and running as quickly as possible.

The whole turnkey systems concept isn't exactly new. But it's picking up a lot of momentum these days as customers look to focus on their own core competency. That may lead to more dependence on a single vendor, but as the IT industry as whole continues to consolidate, that trend is accelerating anyway.

How pronounced this trend will actually become remains to be seen. But the one thing that is for certain is that as the diversity of choices across the IT landscape drops, the deployment of turnkey systems that have the effect of creating a single standard across a customer's IT infrastructure becomes more inevitable.

That may rub advocates for the best-of-breed approach to IT the wrong way. But the more the discussion focuses on the total cost of IT, the harder it becomes not to standardize on one common set of turnkey systems.

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