Perspective - Big Brother Companies

Companies like IBM, EDS, and ADP have become a plague on the technological world. Their continual use of outdated business policies and their slowness of updating their software holds the rest of the world behind. Legacy software and hardware has kept the exchange of data in the dark ages of computers, while the rest of the world uses standard data exchange like XML. Big Brother continues to use their old proprietary systems that are not compatible with anything new, and refuse to budge.

Back in the day when these companies monopolized the computer market when everything was new and different, they became extremely rich, while giving their companies a serious edge over the opposing companies that could not afford their insanely high prices. This seemed great at first, until the times began to change.

Apple and Microsoft took off and finally Windows became the standard for home and small business use. Computer standards became one of the best ways to exchange data and all new programs could access it. Sadly, all of those companies who used EDS, IBM, and other Big Brother companies remained in the stone age. They were never updated to talk to the new systems. Thus, they do not share in the new and easier methods of sharing data. They are still stuck with the same old software, the same green and black terminals, and the same incredibly difficult to use data entry screens. These multi-billion dollar companies could have upgraded their software just like the rest of the industry did, but they didn't. You still see black and white old interfaces at airports, hospitals, restaurants, retail stores, car dealerships, and so on.

The real question is, why haven't these huge companies upgraded and forced their clients to stay outdated? Although there is not simple answer, one of the major reasons is, they don't have to because they have a monopoly on the market. They control the entire computer system of their clients, and there really aren't any better choices to replace them. Why would a company spend money to upgrade their product if they have no reason to? Thus, companies are forced to use horribly outdated software. Eventually, these old software products will be so outdated that they will have to be upgraded in order to even run on new hardware. That will be a great time, but we're still many years away from that.

What can be done to get these companies moving? Well, sadly it takes the work of many programmers a long time to create new systems to replace the old ones. Many companies can't front the capital to get them developed, so they remain in the dark ages. Hopefully, this new age of communication will help the market change faster, but there are no guarantees.