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This week I had a conversation with an Australian chief information officer which I considered both profoundly interesting -- but also extremely disturbing.

opinion This week I had a conversation with an Australian chief information officer which I considered both profoundly interesting '” but also extremely disturbing.

I was speaking to Komatsu general manager of IT Ian Harvison about his company's recent decision to stop operating its own datacentre and server environment and shift its servers into an infrastructure as a service offering provided by Telstra. At one point, I asked Harvison about the underlying server platform which Telstra was operating.

His answer was nothing short of revolutionary.

'We're not interested in the technology at all '¦ from our perspective, we don't care what the hardware is at all,' he said. And the executive went even further. 'We've negotiated quite robust service level agreements with Telstra,' he said. 'As long as Telstra delivers the SLAs, who they partner with, and what they're running on, is a Telstra-driven initiative.'

Shocked, I laughed and pointed out to Harvison that server vendors '” companies like Dell, Sun Microsystems, HP and IBM '” would be appalled at the statement that he had just made. After all, these companies have been selling servers in the dozens and even hundreds to companies like Komatsu for decades now.

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