Bad habits are awfully hard to break. For us, a mess or an assignment inevitably fills the available space or time. Even if we’ve got the time, we still typically put off writing that report or cleaning our desk until we absolutely must. Obviously after too many 1:30am finishes, you’d think we’d finally start turning over a new leaf.
Similarly, IT vendors still haven’t shaken their habit of spouting grandiose promises.
You’d think that after several years of “IT doesn’t matter” bashing, we’d finally junk the vision thing and start talking about the mundane problems that we really solve.
Here are just a couple examples from press releases culled during the past week. We’ve protected the guilty, because with everybody equally complicit, we didn’t want to fairly or unfairly single anyone out.
“[Blank] announced a partnership and the completion of SOA governance integration between [blank], the company’s award-winning Service-Oriented Architecture governance solution, and [blank], a set of products designed to govern and accelerate Web service integrations spanning security and identity domains without expensive and inflexible programming.” In a follow-up conversation, they characterized this as an “end- to-end” solution.
Translation: An industry standard UDDI registry and a run-time XML gateway link via industry standard SOAP messages. The registry, which is used for defining policy, updates the gateway, which filters web services messages at run time. Because the link is an industry standard, there’s nothing unique being offered except the promise that both vendors will theoretically not point fingers when it comes to questioning whose adherence to standards is more correct. And by the way, their so-called end-to-end solution stops short of tying in systems management frameworks, meaning that infrastructure hiccups remain unaddressed.
“[Blank's] SOA Governance solution will help customers establish tailored decision rights in the organization and implement the policy, measurement and control mechanisms necessary to carry out those decisions… [Blank] is making business flexibility through SOA governance a reality for our customers.”
From the statement, you’d think the press release unveils some dramatic breakthroughs or visions covering SOA governance. In fact, it references a choice of 40 existing products, a new “governance plug-in” to a software development process framework, plus several new products (data modeling and a systems management change configuration database) that are general-purpose offerings that perform many other useful tasks besides SOA governance.
The goodies bundled into this press release solve real problems. But the only relevant part of the announcement was the governance plug in. Hardly a grand new governance offering, although it will address a narrow but useful piece of the puzzle.
Announcements like these, which otherwise sound like they’re ushering in new paradigms, in actuality, solve modest, mundane, point problems. To paraphrase Seinfeld, we’d respond, “As if there’s anything wrong with that.”
So we’re wondering why tech vendors continue pushing the vision thing. CFO’s are far more likely to approve purchases if they actually address problems they can understand rather than forcing them to drink Kool Aid.
Hey folks, we solve some real problems. Would it kill us to stop claiming otherwise?