I am starting to believe that one of the biggest dangers facing CTOs looking to tame complex IT environments is the preconceived notion. Let me explain. Recently I had the opportunity to visit a startup that claimed to be offering a unique method to manage and control desktop PCs across the enterprise.
During our initial discussions, company representatives threw around terms such as 'Centralized Virtual Desktop Management," 'Cached Desktops," 'Streaming Application Updates' and several others. After hearing those terms, especially in the context of desktop PC management, I could draw only one conclusion -- the company was looking to offer something akin to a disconnected Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), with the goal of easing enterprise desktop management. However, the actual solution the company was offering could not have been farther than the VDI concept.
That struck a chord with me. I began to wonder how many solutions on the market are dismissed because of a basic misunderstanding of what the solution does. That basic misunderstanding which seems to stem from the overabundance of buzz words and the distortion of the common meanings of those buzz words.
For example, when I heard the word 'virtual', I automatically assumed the product was hypervisor-centric-when I heard the word 'streaming," I assumed that the technology used application virtualization, and when I heard 'Cached'-I assumed that the virtualized OS (and VHD) was cached for disconnected use. Now, I'll own up to my mistakes, but it did make me think a little more about the effect of terminology in the IT sector.
If we stand back and take a look at each of those terms, we can clearly see that the root definitions encompass much more that what we have come to expect in 2010. The problem here is that in the IT realm we have focused so much on identifying technologies and placing those technologies into tidy bins that when anything does not conform to our idealized categorization, we quickly make assumptions. And you know what they say about assumptions!
The simple solution here is when encountering new technologies, be ready, willing and able to look further into and not to fall prey to preconceived notions. By the way, the company I was looking at was Wanova-which offers a new slant on centralized desktop PC management. Give their site a look and see how your preconceived notions predicate your definitions of their technology.