ITs are not like cars

ITs are not like cars

Rafael Funes – January 19, 2016

Many years ago circulated by email the president of GM's response to its counterpart of MS, when the latter said that if cars had evolve as personal computers, they would cost pennies, weigh grams and would run to billions of kilometers per hour with few milliliters of clean fuel.


The response was overwhelming, if cars were like PCs, they would stop working every few hours, we would have to update them every few months or weeks to work again, it would be necessary to stop them, get out and back in, losing, of course, all the progress so far.

This comparison is very sad, to say the least.

Both industries have strengths and weaknesses. I think I’d better take the best of the other and vice versa. It is up to us to take the good of the automotive industry, they should do the same from the information technology industry.

Lesson 1. Automotive Industry does not sell cars, sell freedom and status.

The first and most important lesson is the definition of the business. The automotive industry knows that it sells primarily the freedom to go from one place to another safely and gives the owner a certain social status according to the vehicle and the equipment chosen.

Certainly the AI knows that its products incorporate technological advances straight out of the most adventurous science fiction novels. However, they have learned that technology alone is not the best selling point. They have to inspire the future customer with the benefits of that technology. IT providers must learn the lesson. We do not sell technology, we sell operating and financial results.

Lesson 2. Automotive Industry does not sell components, it sells cars.

Imagine for a moment that buying a car involves buying the chassis from a supplier, the engine from another one, the transmission of a third party, the body of one more and so on, and then arrives home each component separately. Then, a group of experts would come to join components and tune your new car. How many streets will circulate smoothly?

More or less this is what we do when we provide IT. The servers you get are from a supplier, some others provide the storage, the networks, and the operating system, some more will provide the driver of the database and the application. Later, specialists or integrators, all together, will apply power and will hope it comes to life. Any resemblance to Dr. Frankenstein is purely coincidence.

AI gives us a finished product, tested and working. Even when the parties come from different manufacturers, the “assembler” ensures that they all fit together and function properly.

Again IT providers must learn the lesson.

Lesson 3. Driving a car is not very complex.

IT intimidate almost anyone. It seems that the motto is “why make it simple if we can make it complicated?”. Every time I have heard about IT implementation processes, the talks are full of terms like “big”, “expensive”, “slow” and of course “complex”. The alleged solutions can create more problems than it would solve and mostly it is due to the complexity of products. IT vendors, particularly software developers, tend to expose the complexities of the systems. I know of a product that has over 20 screens to tackle one problem, when the another can fully resolved it with just one screen. Surely, many screens and hundreds of thousands of Gigabytes in code sounds bigger, but at the end, what matters is the result.

The AI knows that to make cars affordable to more customers is essential to hide the complexity behind basic, intuitive and simple controls.

In LOVIS we have created a robust and easy-to-use solution that hides the complexity behind a simple interface, without losing power. We accompany our technology with the appropriate methodology to achieve the results expected by our customers.

What do you prefer? Complex and difficult, or simple and powerful?