No Risk, No Reward

Today, it seems like everyone's running scared. No one wants to go out on a limb and try new things.

What happened to all the risk takers?

I have spent most of my career either implementing corporate systems, or testing and writing about them for eWEEK and other publications. However, I took the last five years off and helped launch a 24-hour cable network—called TechTV—all about technology.

Back in the late nineties, IT departments were full of risk takers. Innovative new technologies were brought in, piloted and in some cases turned into real competitive advantage. Sure, there were a lot of duds. But many new technologies turned out pretty well, including intranets, PDAs and clustered servers. But today, it seems like everyones running scared. No one wants to go out on a limb and try new things.

As John Taschek, director of eWEEK Labs, has noted, AMDs Opteron processor has many technical virtues, but only flawless marketing by AMD—and its been far from flawless so far—will overcome the innate caution of IT buyers.

There may be hope now that IBM has joined the Opteron party, but the larger point is still that IT today is just too timid to take a risk—even on a server that runs faster and cheaper than the competition.