Wednesday, 2 March 2005

It seems that metrics are still a key issue for the IT industry. For all the data collecting and processing tools that this industry provides, it seem it still can't measure ROI (Working out IT value tough, say banks - or even their own industry metrics (Analyst research 'distorted' against open source - ZDNet UK News). Is this seemingly perennial problem (I remember the ROI problem as an undergraduate) willful, or simply part of the process of a pioneering industry?

I'd suggest both, with the latter often used as an excuse to cover the former. If organisations delieated more clearly between operating costs of IT and project delivery costs, the picture would be clearer, but where is the incentive for CIOs to be more open about justifying their budget? This is further confused by the inherent nature of software: is it a product or a service? The answer is in the pricing, and that's usually very flexible. Personally, I veer towards service, and that's at the core of whether open source is a viable industry model in the long term.

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