The concept of “On Demand” didn’t always resonate.
Industry analysts were confused. Not used to an announcement from IBM that wasn’t about a new product, IT industry analysts had no idea how to evaluate it, or what to tell their clients.
The press was confused. They had no idea what to write about this thing called “On Demand.”
The market was confused. Customers wanted to be able to buy it, even though they weren’t quite sure what “it” was.
Employees were confused. I recall many conversations with employees where I explained that what we had announced was a strategy. It was not a product per-se, but a vision for how information technology would support the need for “on demand” services, and how IBM would play a key role.
Less than a decade later, even a five-year-old can tell you what “On Demand” is. It’s a button that you push (on your computer, on your TV remote, or on your mobile device) so you can watch any TV show or movie you want, whenever you want. Of course, the on demand concept is not limited to video, but due to that simple example, everyone now understands what IBM and other technology companies envisioned just a short time ago.
Was IBM ahead of its time, or brilliant and right on target?