February 05, 2004

Computer Commodities

I recall years ago when I was just seriously starting out in the consulting business, I noticed somebody putting together a PC in a cube on a Monday. By Tuesday, there were two of them scratching their heads and trying to get the darn thing to work. Wednesday there were three people working on it and Thursday it was finished. There were probably 15-20 consultant hours put on this 'custom' system which had both a CD burner and video capture card.

(All together now) Oooh.

Looking at the umpteenth Dell catalog to hit my mailbox today I'm looking at the systems and realize that the game has changed tremendously since then. For what a decent consultant like me charges, you can get an entire new desktop for the labor price of a day's worth of troubleshooting. In fact, for bottom end systems, a day's labor = two desktops.

For companies who wish to get organized and minimize costs, the lesson is clear, you need to control your desktop configurations and buy in lots, create OS and applications images using Norton's Ghost or one of its competitors and segregate your data so that you can change out desktops as easily as you change light bulbs.

Up to now, it's mostly been the big companies that have used imaging software to control costs and the software environment. But the differential between desktop (and even small server) prices and labor costs to achieve a custom solution, is growing to the point where imaged solutions are going to spread all the way down to even small companies in the 10-20 seat range.

Posted by TMLutas at February 5, 2004 05:30 PM