I don't mean to pick on Nissan by any means -- it isn't the only one that has done this -- but I am quite curious to know exactly what it takes to make an IT organization (or more explicitly, IT management) choose a blatantly inferior product over far more capable competing products for use in such a critical environment no matter how sweet the deal may seem. It's like a delivery company making a deal to get all its delivery trucks for free, except the trucks don't have reverse and can't make right-hand turns. It might "save money" by not requiring a cash outlay for the trucks, but it slows everything else down and jeopardizes the core functionality of the infrastructure -- the core business is at risk. That's a gamble that no IT manager should take. A pilot program? Sure. Maybe a few sideline servers and applications? Possibly. More than 75 percent of the infrastructure? No way. That's too many eggs in a shaky basket.
And then there's this quote:
For one company, it was a decision handed down by the CIO, and they came to us saying, "The decision has already been made. Now that we have it, tell us what pitfalls to avoid."
I can pretty much guarantee that there was much consternation among the admins worth their salt, with the cart so far in front of the horse that it was in the next county. Very rarely do unilateral decisions by CIOs make for solid IT infrastructures, and they are generally at odds with what the admins on the ground are communicating. If you want to alienate your IT staff, that's a very good way to go about it. Top-flight admins are highly logical by nature and if continuously faced with the specter of having to implement and support clearly inferior products due to baffling, uneducated management decisions, they'll simply head elsewhere. Costly consultants will implement a ham sandwich if you want them to, but their fees will significantly reduce any possible ROI, especially if you're dependent on them for routine maintenance.
Back to the article, we find another attempt at rationalization:
In heavily entrenched Microsoft shops, there's a also desire to stick with a familiar interface. "There's a lot to be said for product familiarity. A lot of IT shops would rather live with a product's shortcomings than use unfamiliar technology," Wolf added.
Let's be clear: If you've never implemented virtualization, all the concepts, management tools, and interfaces will be unfamiliar. Whether it's Hyper-V or VMware, they're all wildly different from nonvirtualized computing. Hyper-V's management console is no more or less "familiar" to Windows administrators than VMware's Virtual Infrastructure Client. If you're willing to sacrifice crucial features of a new technology because you aren't familiar with the GUI, you might want to reconsider your ultimate goals.