Global CIO: Inside Steve Jobs' Head: The Supremacy Of Software - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Government // Enterprise Architecture
Commentary
10/21/2010
11:46 AM
Bob Evans
Bob Evans
Commentary
50%
50%

Global CIO: Inside Steve Jobs' Head: The Supremacy Of Software

Jobs reveals some of the strategic thinking that's made Apple perhaps the most innovative and wealthy company on the planet.

Some day in the not-too-distant future, business-school professors who actually know what they're talking about will challenge their students to think about corporate strategy in these words uttered this week by Apple CEO Steve Jobs:

"You're looking at it wrong. You're looking at it as a hardware person in a fragmented world. You're looking it as a hardware manufacturer that doesn't really know much about software, who doesn't think about an integrated product, but assumes the software will somehow take care of itself. . . . And you assume that the software will somehow just come alive on this product that you're dreaming of, but it won't."

But. It. Won't.

Those words capture the major challenge facing both CIOs on the customer side and CEOs on the IT-vendor side: how do they shift their worldviews, rapidly and profoundly, from one focused primarily on infrastructure and architecture and servers and storage and networks and devices, to a new worldview concentrated on the power and value and potential of deeply integrated and optimized software?

Back to Jobs: "And you assume that the software will somehow just come alive on this product that you're dreaming of, but it won't."

I hope you're all laughing at the foolishness of your humble correspondent, and that this has all been obvious to you for years, because that would mean this industry over all is farther along the path to new innovation and prosperity than current signals would seem to indicate.

In too many cases, we are stuck today still "rubbing sticks together," as Oracle executive VP John Fowler recently said about the degree to which IT vendors and their enterprise customers are fully harnessing the raw power of the technology at hand.

Global CIO
Global CIOs: A Site Just For You
Visit InformationWeek's Global CIO -- our new online community and information resource for CIOs operating in the global economy.

We're still taking hardware that's immensely capable but built for general purposes and pairing it up with software that's highly sophisticated but built to run on multiple types of hardware with approximately the same level of pretty good but not great performance.

Jobs is saying—and business schools will one day teach—that we are tackling the problems of tomorrow with the outlook of yesterday:

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Previous
1 of 3
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Slideshows
What Digital Transformation Is (And Isn't)
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  12/4/2019
Commentary
Watch Out for New Barriers to Faster Software Development
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  12/3/2019
Commentary
If DevOps Is So Awesome, Why Is Your Initiative Failing?
Guest Commentary, Guest Commentary,  12/2/2019
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
The Cloud Gets Ready for the 20's
This IT Trend Report explores how cloud computing is being shaped for the next phase in its maturation. It will help enterprise IT decision makers and business leaders understand some of the key trends reflected emerging cloud concepts and technologies, and in enterprise cloud usage patterns. Get it today!
Slideshows
Flash Poll