Enterprise IT professionals face tough purchase decisions. On the one hand they have increasingly sophisticated users with direct consumer access to the latest devices and applications - the so called consumerization of IT. On the other hand, corporate governance and business requirements drive the need for regulation, security and compliance. IT pros must balance these two needs in their purchase decisions.
But the marketplace is confusing. There is a dizzying array of products and cloud services for every need - open source, SaaS, hardware appliances, virtual appliances and more. And when capital is cheap, venture investors pour irrational sums on companies with often questionable technology to increase the din.
So enterprises often turn to analyst firms for advice. Four quadrants. Leaders, visionaries etc. But there is a simple litmus test that might make your decision easy.
Does the vendor use its own product?
Great products are used by those that make them. With pride. I worked at HP early in my career and can vouch for that. Worked at Cisco later on, and can tell you that I never saw anything but Cisco switches and routers there. Our salesperson at Salesforce.com definitely uses their own product. Google employees use GoogleApps. Apple employees favor iPhones, and not by fiat. Microsoft employees defintely use Office365. At Bitglass, we use our own products. Our data is secured in the cloud, at access and on devices via Bitglass. We give customer presentations live via Bitglass.
Conversely, weak products are not used by those who make them. After all, they know their products best. Are there companies that do not use their own products? Unfortunately far too many. An unscientific poll of three top MDM vendors brought to light that their employees don't use their own products.
If it is not good enough for the vendor, it is not good enough for the customer. If you are an IT pro facing a purchase decision, check the backchannel to see which vendor uses their own products. Makes your purchase decision easier.