This piece from SD Times that I simply do not agree with! Lead me to the question: Are you a "google" away from being "amazoned".

Here is the excerpt in SD times that irked me so much:

Eric Newcomer, CTO of Iona Technologies PLC, argues that avoiding vendor lock-in is not the most important role played by standards. "We hear a lot about the importance of standards. And the standards argument usually centers on guarding against vendor lock-in, since lock-in can be an expensive prospect. You will even find that most vendors readily acknowledge this benefit. While I do not dispute that avoiding vendor lock-in is of some importance, I do argue that of far more significance is the role industry standards play in reducing the overall cost of developing software and increasing developer productivity, especially for enterprise applications. What's needed is a common way of programming to any language or operating system, and a common way of communicating between any two or more programs. Heterogeneous hardware, operating- system and software environments are the main problems that businesses have, and will continue to have into the foreseeable future.

The benefit of standards is to prevent Lock-in, this might be vendor or technology lock-in. There is a lot of hype around Real-Time Enterprise vision, and most technology vendors (OpenLink included) have realization of this vision as part of their value proposition. Any enterprise that is locked into a technology or vendor is simply abdicating a timeless responsibility to attain the enterprise agility levels espoused by the Real-Time Enterprise vision.

The real cost of engaging any technology or vendor is all about the long term impact on the customers ability; the ability to respond to market inflections via existing and future IT infrastructure.  

A standards based IT infrastructure enables a company to dispose of those components that impede its ability to sustain desired agilitiy levels. Put differently, standards enable companies to assemble IT infrastructure from an increasingly heterogeneous pool of vendors. Thus, a company should be able to mix and match "best of class" IT infrastructure components in line with Enterprise Agility goals -something that is only attainable via a commitment to standards based infrastructure components in the first place.

An enterprise cannot be locked into a database, operating system, programming language, or technolgy religion, and expect to be agile. Failure to engage standards ultimately implies that you are a "google" away from being "amazoned" in your chosen market place. Be forewarned!