Information Technologist as Merchandiser

Information Technologist as Merchandiser

Oliver Steele’s remarks about “The Apple Boutique”

Colleague Oliver Steele made some interesting observations about his recent decision to switch to an Apple laptop computer. Rather than lamenting the loss of broad choices he enjoyed with his previous Wintel laptop, he felt relieved.

Oddly, given his computer science prowess, Oliver enjoyed deferring decisions on hardware and software to Apple. He ascribed his relief to confidence in Apple’s good judgement. To Oliver, Apple as an IT vendor appeared analogous to a builder with good architects, a retailer with good merchandisers, or a newspaper with good editors.

If the proliferation of computer hardware, software and services proved overwhelming to the likes of a ‘smart m.f.’ like Oliver, imagine how all this has impacted the lay public. Perhaps this explains why some believe the I.T. sector has reached a phase where the market needs are more about improved services than about increased product innovation. From consumers to companies, the buyers of information technology may want less rather than more. If Oliver’s sentiments are shared by others, some vendors could actually improve profit margins by demonstrating that “less is more”.

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