Top 100 Power Picks (continued)
A look at top influencers, forces, technologies and products in large enterprise computing.
Continued from Part One
23 Enterprise Systems' Power Picks
1. Sam Palmisano, CEO, IBM Corp.
IBM CEO Lou Gerstner was No. 3 on our ES 100 list last year (we deemed Michael Powell, chair of the FCC, and Federal Reserve Chair Alan Greenspan more influential on IT overall). New CEO Sam Palmisano tops the list this year because he faces what may be just as tough a set of challenges as the legendary Gerstner once took on. As Palmisano settled into the top job at Big Blue, first quarter earnings fell short. At fault wasn't just mature technologies such as disk drives— the vaunted IBM Global Services took a hit, too. Palmisano's work toward creating a forward focus for the diversified company may shape the direction of the overall industry. And this can't hurt—Palmisano is the IT leader that readers voted as most credible.
2. Carly Fiorina, CEO, Hewlett-Packard Co.
Her tenacity and high visibility during the merger fight, and the importance of her challenge to integrate HP and Compaq, bumps Fiorina from fifth in our ES 100 last year to second this year. With the fight largely behind her, Fiorina must ward off the distractions of the merger to bring the combined company into the future—and profitably. If she succeeds in making the merger work, she'll have triumphed where others—including Compaq itself— have failed.
3. Craig Mundie, Senior Vice President, Chief Technical Officer of Advanced Strategies and Policy, Microsoft Corp.
While his bosses make headlines in the anti-trust case, Mundie, new to the list this year, is the one quoted in technology stories. Between spouting off anti-open-source invective and proclaiming Microsoft's newfound commitment to security, Mundie could be the driving force in finally transforming Microsoft from an overgrown PC software vendor into an enterprise technology provider.
4. Scott McNealy, CEO, Sun Microsystems Inc.
No one doubts that Sun is an important company in the enterprise. (We placed McNealy fourth last year as well.) Whether Sun can maintain that position is an entirely different question. While Sun's J2EE spec is rapidly becoming the standard for enterprise integration, its own application server ranks a distant third. IBM and HP continue to take quarterly bites out of its Unix server market. McNealy has standardize branding under the Sun ONE name, which is a good move; now he needs to decide if Sun is a hardware company or a software company—or something in between.
5. Larry Ellison, Oracle Corp.
Oracle and Ellison rose to recognition under Ellison (ninth in our list last year) through big, scalable databases, but the new frontier for this Goliath may be devices such as cell phones, handhelds, and refrigerators that pervade our daily life. Ellison's company now pushes products to push information out of its databases into the real world. Will it succeed?
6. Hasso Plattner, Co-chairman and CEO, SAP AG
Although SAP's products are so important to some enterprises they build their infrastructures around the ERP apps, Plattner (ranked 17th last year) has come out in favor of open integration standards, stumping for Sun at the JavaONE conference and supplanting its proprietary ABAP language with Java in its MySAP portal. While Microsoft fights to run the enterprise, Plattner understands vendors need to work together.
7. Thomas M. Siebel, Chairman, CEO and founder, Siebel Systems Inc.
Tom Siebel (another newcomer to the list) makes money the old-fashioned way: By focusing on profits. While his decision to create CRM software parallels the speculative strategies of the dotcoms, the business is built on a solid structure. Now the company is looking to branch into the hot new Employee Relationship Management market—or the even broader Enterprise Application Integration markets.
8. Scott Dietzen, CTO, BEA Systems Inc.
While BEA remains the king of J2EE application servers, it faces the "commodification" of a platform where vendors are beginning to compete on price and plug-ins rather than the underlying technology. BEA's recent launch of its first developer tools for Java and Web services may make it first in the hearts of developers and will help it retain its place in the enterprise. (BEA founder and CEO William Coleman made the list last year.)
9. Linus Torvalds
Since the release of the 2.4 kernel in early 2001, Torvalds (eighth last year) has taken an increasingly low profile in the open source world, while associate Alan Cox and the offerings from IBM grab center stage. That's probably just fine with Linus, who says he created the free operating system "just for fun" and wants to share it with others.
10. Sanjay Kumar, President and CEO, Computer Associates International Inc.
The highly visible Kumar is well aware he leads a company with a tarnished reputation (we ranked him 32nd on our list of 100 people last year). Customer complaints, proxy battles, and SEC inquiries have all shaken confidence with customers and partners, yet CA's products remain indispensable for many enterprises. Not content to let products speak for themselves, Kumar has taken the rap head-on, acknowledging customers need to come first and pledging to fix things.
11. Vinton G. Cerf, Chairman of the Board, ICANN
ICANN is quickly becoming the IRS of the Internet: Everyone knows we need it, yet no one likes the way it works. Cerf's challenge is to resolve the needs of businesses, such as a greater supply of domain names, with the other constituencies such as registrars and consumers that ICANN needs to serve. While some are calling for ICANN to be abolished, Cerf will likely remain a force in the administration of the Internet for time to come.
12. James B. Rothnie, Senior Vice President, Chief Technology Officer, EMC Corporation
Like IBM, EMC built its company as a top-drawer, but pricey and proprietary, vendor for enterprises that mean business. But the threat of the likes of Compaq, which brings down storage prices and opens up standards, is forcing EMC to get along with other vendors and move its product into a price-sensitive market. Whether EMC can make this shift in technology and business strategy remains to be seen.
13. Sergey Brin, Co-founder and president of technology, Google
Google is perhaps the last of the true dotcoms—a company based around a student project. Its huge growth this year is reflected in the fact that Brin wasn't even on our Enterprise 100 list last year. Although Sun and others share similar roots, Google may have an undeserved stigma of flakiness in the enterprise, but its search appliance and Web services API prove the company is working seriously to meet the information management needs of business.
14. Michael Tiemann, CTO, Red Hat
Never tell Tiemann that Linux can't scale. (Take it from us, we've done it, and it wasn't pretty.) The Red Hat CTO knows Linux can challenge not only Windows, but proprietary Unix systems in the enterprise. With projects such as the Open Source Development Lab and the Linux Standards Base, the culture may soon shift to accept Linux as an enterprise-worthy OS. (We ranked Tiemann 25th last year.)
15. Tim O'Reilly, Founder and president, O'Reilly Associates
While O'Reilly's animal-etching-covered books are beloved by developers, O'Reilly does more than print pieces of paper. He was 91st in our list of top 100 leaders last year; his move up reflects the growing importance of his conferences and general influence in IT. O'Reilly conferences tackling open source, peer-to-peer and Web services set the agenda for the cutting edge of the computer industry, and he shows no fear about sounding off on patent issues, "shared source," and other hot topics in the wired world.
16. Dave Winer, CEO, UserLand Software Inc.
Just because Winer, who we ranked 14th last year, works with Microsoft doesn't mean he doesn't criticize the company. He worked with Redmond to develop the SOAP protocol and now sounds off regularly about how the company hijacked it for the .NET initiative. Web services is supposed to be open, he posits daily in his Scripting News Weblog; using it for single-vendor dominance betrays its spirit.
17. Peter Karmanos, Jr. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Compuware Corporation
Karmanos' grand plan to revitalize downtown Detroit by moving Compuware's headquarters there may face a few hurdles. His vision of reviving the city like the mainframe is cloudy as the company lays off employees and restructures its services division. Still, it remains a force in development and optimization tools for the mainframe, which we all know will never die.
18. Miguel de Icaza, Co-founder and CTO, Ximian Inc.
Most Linux enthusiasts love to hate Windows, but de Icaza, who is new to the list, has the deepest respect for the Windows interface. Believing Linux needs to follow industry precedent, not set it, his Gnome desktop apes the Windows desktop. Ximian's latest project, Mono, will bring the .NET infrastructure to the open source platform.
19. John Sidgmore, President and CEO, WorldCom Inc.
Can WorldCom, once a leader in long distance and data services, even survive? Sidgmore's task to turn around the financially struggling WorldCom reflects the challenges of the overall telecommunications industry. WorldCom became big and bloated in an era of loose lending and deregulation. As a consequence, it became competent in buying companies, not running them. Sidgmore must now bring the company back to earth and get down to business. We ranked former WorldCom president and CEO Bernard Ebbers, who resigned under pressure in April, 67th on our 2001 list.
20. Irving Wladawsky-Berger, vice president of technology strategy IBM Server Group, IBM Corporation
An obvious choice for last year's list that we somehow missed, Wladawsky-Berger is IBM's point man for grid computing, and stands to transform the concept of computing-on-demand. He regularly uses his innate charm in speaking at conferences to champion the vision of a technical computing infrastructure that sells processing power like a utility and opens up machines to the outside world.
21. W.J. "Billy" Tauzin, U.S. Representative, R-Louisiana
As chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Tauzin influences how Congress approaches telecommunications and other enterprise technologies. The Internet Freedom and Broadband Deployment Act of 2001, which he co-authored with Rep. John Dingell (D-MI), is either hailed as the savior of the telco sector or derided as a series of Enron-style handouts to the Baby Bells.
22. Richard Parsons, CEO, AOL Time Warner
As the big man at the world's biggest media company, Parsons needs to bring the organization back from its slump last year. So far, the merger has only caused profits and share prices to drop, with synergies from the merger all but invisible. (We ranked AOL Chair Steve Case 52nd last year.)
23. Ray Ozzie, Founder, Chairman and CEO, Groove Networks Inc.
The proliferation of instant messenger clients through corporate America only attests to the sorry state of groupware. While Lotus Notes, which Ozzie helped develop, may serve the needs of some companies, Ozzie believes a full peer-to-peer messaging and file transfer platform is what companies need to get employees communicating and working together.
1 Network Heavyweight, 3 Follow the Leader
There must be a reason Cisco Systems controls close to two-thirds of the global market for routers and switches that link networks and power the Internet. Perhaps it's because 76 percent of our respondents consider the company the best networking vendor for large systems. No matter how we broke down the numbers, Cisco came out on top by large margins, a testament to its market domination.
I Believe You!
6 Top IT Leaders
Stop us if you've heard this one, but did we say that IBM is popular with this crowd? Perhaps readers don't exactly bleed blue, as was said of long-time IBMers, but they definitely hold IBM in high esteem. That helps explain why the company's new CEO, Sam Palmisano, garnered the top rating as the most credible leader in IT today. On a scale of 1 (no faith) to 10 (most trusted), Palmisano earned a score of 7, followed by Intel Corp.'s
CEO Craig Barrett with a rating of 6.4. Linus Torvalds, that perennial favorite with the open source crowd, came in third at 6.3.
Near the bottom of the list of corporate executives: Beleguered Computer Associates CEO Sanjay Kumar, with a 4.8 rating.
4 Top IT Battles
IT is never a boring industry to watch—stakes are high and companies are loud and sometimes just plain silly in defending old turf and vying for new. Here are our favorite battles this year.
IBM versus Sun
These two bitter competitors have elevated the standard press release to an art form. Each time someone's Unix server hits a price/performance milestone, that vendor unabashedly trumpets the results to claim TCO superiority. The episodes only highlight the strategic importance of dominance in the midsize arena of enterprise computing, where Sun's strong Unix holdings are continually threatened by IBM. Stay tuned …
EMC vs. Compaq
Just because they signed an interoperability agreement doesn't mean they can't trade constant insults. The No. 1 and 2 storage array vendors fight viciously and publicly over a market that seems to redefine itself every 18 months. Will storage vendors ever agree on standards? Not with these two facing off.
Sun vs. Microsoft
When Sun and Microsoft still liked each other (if they ever did), "Happy Days" was running in prime time. The two vendors' battles over Java are well documented, and there's no reason to think Redmond is anything but furious over J2EE's emerging strength. Each vendor has a nascent Web services platform, Sun ONE and .NET, that share awkward names and the faint odor of vaporware, but that doesn't keep key executives from arguing in public over which is better.
Hewlett-Packard vs. Itself
The heirs didn't like it, employees didn't like it, and Wall Street didn't like it at first, but, somehow, the merger went through. The cheap shots between board member Walter Hewlett and CEO Carly Fiorina took on a life of their own, and left a fragmented culture at one of Silicon Valley's oldest firms. With the merger approved, let the layoffs, restructuring and healing begin.
5 I'm Soooo Sick of … Five Big Bores
You're a tough crowd when it comes to anything Microsoft, so perhaps it's not surprising that 23 percent of readers said that Windows Datacenter Server is the single topic that they're up to
Which of the following are you
getting absolutely sick of
(Respondents indicated 3 top choices)
their eyeballs in. Somehow we doubt that's completely true (has there really been that much written about Microsoft's high-end server product?), but the general sentiment is that readers have heard loud and clear that Microsoft's enterprise products are knocking ever more loudly at the door of the glass house.
Second in the list, at 13 percent, was Customer Relationship Management (CRM). We'd have to concur on that one. Part of the weariness with the topic, no doubt, is its early promise and subsequent failure to unify customer data throughout the enterprise and produce huge savings. Anyway, enough said on that topic.
8 Gimme More! Topics You Want More of
When we asked which three topics in today's climate you want to read more about, 18 percent of readers voted for security. Integration, that never-ending
Which of the following would you
like to read more about?
(Respondents indicated 3 top choices)
bugaboo of any large enterprise, ranked second at 12 percent. Host integration, which has grown in the past several years from simple "screen-scraping" to sophisticated tools that pull data and produce GUI output for browsers, came third at 11 percent, tied with Linux, reflecting the new-found importance of that open systems OS in enterprise computing.
3 Least Secure Operating Systems
No matter what job our readers hold or how long they've spent in IT, the results were unanimous: Windows NT/2000 draws the most skepticism when it comes to security. From its susceptibility to viruses that both infect and attack Web servers, to bugs that grab cookies when the browser "back" button is pressed, Windows apparently leaves readers wondering whether too much integration is necessarily a good thing.
Linux, surprisingly, came in second among readers, garnering 18 percent of the "least secure" vote. Perhaps that's because while the Slashdot.org crowd may swear up and down that Linux is more secure than Windows, it takes a savvy administrator to plug up all the leaks. It's certainly true that most distributions install with most of the ports wide open and load up Apache by default. HP and IBM have both adopted hardened Linux initiatives, so things may change gradually to a truly secure Linux out of the box.
3 Most Secure Operating Systems
Readers offered decidedly different views on operating system security based on their years of IT experience.
Those with fewer than 10 years of experience held Solaris, Unix and Linux in highest regard, while seasoned veterans weighed in favoring the more traditional mainframe OS, S/390.
We can't help but chime in on the subject.
IBM has acknowledged that no machine is an island, and continues to tighten security on its venerable mainframe platform. In addition to hardening the OS to reflect its exposure to Web infrastructures, IBM added new features in the latest version of zOS to aid security. The mainframe can now act as a PKI repository and IBM constantly updates its native encryption processors.
Solaris was designed for networks, and Sun's security settings underscore its heritage. While it might not be locked down out of the box, Solaris administrators are well versed in preparing machines for exposure to the broader Internet.
Our 403 survey respondents are readers who are enterprise managers and technology professionals from around the world, but predominantly in the U.S. and Canada.
They were selected from more than 500 who took our survey during April. We asked participants for their opinions on leading enterprise-level products, technologies and trends, as well as their opinions of top executives in the best-known companies in enterprise computing.
Respondents work primarily in IT management and systems administration, with about a quarter working in a development capacity. They're highly experienced professionals—nearly half had 20 or more years in the field. Only 19 percent have nine or fewer years of tech experience.
The 80 percent of subjects providing salary information are relatively well paid: 65 percent make between $51,000 and $100,000 per year, the majority of those in the $80,000 to $100,000 range. About 20 percent topped $100,000.
Interestingly, only a small portion (18 percent) work in the western U.S. Almost three-quarters are divided nearly equally between the central and eastern parts of the U.S., probably reflecting the predominance of large, mainframe-centric enterprises along the eastern seaboard. The remainder of our survey participants are from outside the U.S.