Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates addresses more than 100 business leaders from around the world at the seventh annual Microsoft CEO Summit.
IT departments are having a hard time determining how much they should invest in new technologies to help their information workers do their jobs effectively, Microsoft Corp. Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates said Wednesday in a keynote address to more than 100 business leaders from around the world at the seventh annual Microsoft CEO Summit.
In a talk titled "The Agile Business: Balancing Strategy and Execution," Gates told the CEOs gathered at Microsofts Redmond, Wash., campus that it is a "very big challenge for IT departments to step up to these new things.
"Historically, the IT department knew that its equipment was all in the glass house and understood how to deal with that. Today, its cell phones that people are carrying around and downloading information to. Its portable devices, its spreadsheets that people have on different desktops, and in a sense, the scope of their responsibility and how much they should invest in making those people more effective is something that a lot of companies have had a hard time seeing exactly what that level should look like." he said.
The idea of enterprise applications as the panacea that will allow users to really dive into data in a way that is meaningful to manage, or to run complex processes like sales analysis and forecasting in the most effective fashion has not yet been realized, Gates said.
"And so many people looking at these harsh realities sometimes say, well, this IT stuff, its messy. Lets outsource all of this. Lets get somebody else to do it. They can get the benefit of Moores Law, and well just sign a five-year or 10-year contract that drives that outside," he said.
While there is validity in that type of approach for those parts of IT that are very measurable and for repeatable type things, Microsoft is from the camp that feels when it comes to defining new applications and thinking about business processes "IT is so central to the way work gets done and the quality of that work, and there are so many opportunities to do that better, that staying in control of this to have it as part of the overall business strategy is very, very important," he said.
Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.
He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.
He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.
He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.
He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.
He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.
His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.
For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at www.eweek.com.