Moving away from new products to the challenges currently facing the industry, Flessner said the IT industry faces a crisis of complexity and cost, and that Microsoft is part of that. In an upbeat address titled "The Potential of IT," Flessner acknowledged that IT needs to deliver more business value, as some 70 percent of IT costs are used to sustain and run their existing capability.The way to address this, he said, is Web serviceswhich have to be more dynamic and message-based. End-to-end applications management is a critical issue, and the industry needs to make sure that the plumbingthe infrastructure behind thisworks. Microsoft is also paying attention to design points and integration around Windows Server System and working to improve this, he said. Users have asked for more prescriptive guidance and a platform for applications. This cannot take place without tools such as Visual Studio .Net, which Microsoft is continually improving and updating, he said.
"But, that said, I believe that the potential of IT is unlimited and unbounded. You are the power and what powers IT, thats what makes the industry dynamic. IT has the potential and the potential is you. Our job is to drive IT forward, and software enables business effectiveness," he told attendees. "Can you stand still? No. If you stagnate, you die in this industry," he said.