Software upgrades on the cards, seriously

IT managers are perkily optimistic that their organisations are ready to pump resources into serious software upgrades this financial year.

Says who? Says that infallible guide to customer thinking: audience response cards distributed at major IT vendor events.

Oracle has just closed off a month-long round of capital city roadshows demonstrating the delights of its new 9i database to standing-room-only crowds.

According to Oracle, 50 per cent said they hoped to migrate to 9i within nine months and 12 to 15 per cent said they were looking at three months.

The only significant departure from those averages was Brisbane where 21 per cent nominated the three-month time frame.

Like sex habit surveys, asking IT professionals about their upgrade intentions can produce replies based more on wishful thinking than reality.

"But interest in 9i is high given that its functionality really is a quantum step forward for people developing Web-based applications," said national Oracle User Group president Anthony Speed.

IT managers are well aware any upgrade decisions must be based on deliverable business benefits.

So the high response figures may be a pointer to their belief that the scalability of 9i's Real Application Cluster mode and its total cost of ownership figures make the upgrade something they can sell to their organisations.

"Most IT managers today are well aware of their financial responsibilities to their companies and 9i has been in the works for some time, so I see no reasons why those figures aren't believable," Speed said.

But he cautioned they may also reflect plans to trial 9i on smaller systems before launching any all-of-company upgrade effort.

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