Currently, most computer systems are managed incredibly inefficiently and at a significant cost. There are organisations and IT suppliers that make a considerable amount of money by providing support services. On the other hand there are also suppliers that know how to provide excellent products that require minimal support yet arguably operate in simplified, constrained environments which by there very nature reduce customer choice (often to the suppliers considerable benefit).
If commodity computing is to be used reliably by its consumers (organisations and individuals alike) then it should be sold fit for purpose and not in a DIY form!
Customers should also be able to demand a wide variety of software and hardware from multiple suppliers yet also have it all pre-configured and automatically maintained.
To provide this truly heterogeneous yet reliable environment to the customer would require two things:
- Completely independent IT providers that are motivated to provide an extremely high level of customer service with no vendor lock in.
- A way software can be provided and then continually maintained in a truly cost effective way without compromise on features or security.
A whole industry of Service Providers could easily provide extremely reliable and more capable software services to customers if the cost of support could be largely mitigated through the use of total automation.
If this environment existed the most likely Service Provider differential could become customer service level rather than hardware or software availability or simply 'compatibility'.