Mission Critical Technology & Enterprise Software: My new focus not so different after All

I have been blogging about mission critical technology for the last year or so, but more recently you may have noticed a subtle change in my focus. At the end of last year I officially moved from managing the Mission Critical Server Business to a new position driving Enterprise Software Strategy for the Datacenter and Connected Systems Group at Intel.

This involves working with our key independent software vendor (ISV) partners at an exciting time in the evolution of software and solutions.  Since I’ve spent most of my career in Mission Critical and Software, this isn’t a big change from my point of view.  What surprises a lot of people is that the job is at Intel, who isn’t generally known as a software company.

People who stop to think about it for a minute will know that Intel has provided compilers, debuggers and parallel programming tools in support of its chips.  Additionally they might also know that Intel is a solid contributor to open source Linux, again in support of its chips. Last year Intel made news with its purchase of McAfee, making Intel one of the world’s 10 largest software companies.

My reason for changing jobs is twofold. First in my former Mission Critical role, I was spending close to half of my time with the large ISV and Database software partners, who are key to providing business solutions. Over time I realized that we were knee deep in what I characterize as the next major evolution of the software and server business.  That’s the second reason for the change.  The confluence of Moore’s law, enabling amazing price/performance computing solutions, delivered by companies like Intel, , with this new software, is driving a  renaissance in computing solutions, led by cloud, open source, big data, and everything- everywhere mobile applications.  This will no doubt give rise to an entire new generation of software companies, fueled by venture capital investments and  highly valued due to anticipation (which usually exceeds reality) of future success.

Of course nowhere in the above do solutions from established ISVs jump out at you. But, I’ve been around long enough to know you don’t throw the baby out with the bath water, and one only has to look at how stalwarts like IBM have morphed into primarily a Services and Software company, and Oracle moved from debunking NoSQL to announcing a product. Thus in the interim, I believe we will see efforts to create mashups of the old and the new enabling the best of both for worlds for customers eager to deploy cutting edge big data solutions in the real world. What survives in the longer term is anybody’s guess, and that’s what makes it so exciting.  I started my career as a software engineer, so maybe I’m going back to my roots!