Sun's McNealy: "<I>Our</I> biggest competitor is <I>your</I> CFO"

Money's too tight to mention. But he'll mention it anyway...

Money's too tight to mention. But he'll mention it anyway...

Sun boss Scott McNealy has identified his number one rival. And it's not IBM or Microsoft but the finance directors in end-user organisations around the world who are holding an ever-firmer grip on IT spend. Speaking at last week's SunNetwork 2002 conference in San Francisco, McNealy said: "The number one issue on their mind is cost. So our biggest competitor is not necessarily someone like IBM - it's the CFO. They don't let anything through. "[Projects have] to have an ROI that's unbelievable, it has to have a pay back period that's measured in hours or the projects are not getting approved these days." McNealy also used his keynote to paint a landscape of consolidation in the vendor community that "nobody would have predicted 20 years ago" when there were "hundreds and hundreds" of computer companies. If you look in the chip arena - in the general purpose computing environment - we're down to the x86, the 32-bit environment, the 64-bit environment and whatever IBM happens to have," he said. "In the systems arena you've got Sun and IBM and the Intel resellers - I really look at Intel as the computer company and not Dell. In the platform arena it's a two-horse race. There's only two really large developer communities left - there's Sun ONE and .Net." "And in the delivery channel it's sorted out to be IBM Global Services versus mankind. It's kind of like in-bred versus best of breed."