That's actually an easy question to answer: The IT guy who has to pick these platforms is *essentially* responsible for the decision.
If a self-hosted or non-mainstream solution goes down or has a problem, its *his* fault. And he's get piled on by the ignorant for using a "non-standard solution."
If he gets them to buy Slack and it goes down, it's Slack's fault, as he used an "industry standard solution."
Why should the IT person stick their neck out for that?
But that does not shield him from criticism of there is problems with the system. Its the same problems that startups have when competing with established companies.
Somebody in authority will always say "We wouldn't have that problem if we used Big Platform X like they did at my last company" regardless of the truth of that statement.
So again I reiterate: What incentive other than moral righteousness does the average IT guy have in using fringe solutions?
The boss can pay EMS and get a 5-nines SLA and support contracts, which is as good or better service than you can get by paying Slack too. Ultimately in my experience procurement is all about having someone to blame if something goes wrong and that's what support agreements are about, in theory.
I have no quarrel with your assessment of the technical and support merits. You are right! But this is a *human* problem, not a technical one.
As to evidence...I worked at one of those big vendors I mentioned and do competitive intelligence for a living. I can tell you this: It's absolutely a thing. The big vendors *count* on it.
The vast majority of IT guys are not passionate tech folks and just want to get paid with a minimum of risk. Sad, but that's the way it is.
It is sad but i have to confirm your point @gedvondur !
It is also my experience that the decision maker in the end is not a classical IT guy but a economics-background manager in the IT department.
He will not take the risk because in return nobody will thank him for the savings or independency of a decision for a foss&decentralized solution.
If something goes wrong (it does not matter if it's a problem of the particular software or just the server it is running on or if the employees just dislike the GUI) there is no big company behind this FOSS product to blame.
If it is MS Teams, Slack... then the problems are accepted as fate and won't be blamed on the manager.
I'm currently a (smaller) decision maker in my company and i'm currently risking my job by replacing proprietary servers and software against FOSS technologies. If there will be a security issue it will be my fault (even if we will host the stuff in a third-partyNOC).
@gedvondur @downey @matrix
Another remark: if I succeed I won't get any appreciation or money for it, it will not even be remarked... It is just for my own purpose and interest.. At the end even a little bit selfishness...
My budget will be reduced by the saved amount. If we have to go back to Windows servers, I will have to fight for a budget raise again ;)
Of course I hope to deliver more flexibility, lower costs and a job enrichment for my IT teams (even if most of my admins have currently no Linux skills and not really happy to envolve in that direction).
I've often remarked that while the average IT guy is happy to save money for the company, he's not going to do it if it hurts his career or makes him eat shit sandwiches from ignorant managers.
The money isn't coming from *his* wallet and employers have been making it clear that everyone is instantly replaceable for years.
I agree entirely.
We are seeing more evidence that the decision makers are more and more coming from the line of business as well in larger companies, with IT only having an advisory seat at the table.
A quote from Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins, that I think sums up where we are going collectively:
“Never has technology been more important to customers and never have they cared less about the details of that technology.”
Using externally-hosted services solves a myriad of problems for sysadmins and higher-ups, until it goes down for a long time, or data is lost, corrupted, or compromised, and there's absolutely nothing you can do about it.
Even so, "nobody ever got fired for using IBM services" still applies.
As far as highly available, enterprise services, probably the best situation is "we own it and host it, but have iron-clad 24x7 service and support contract with vendor."
Even so, I've seen senior admins roasted for things beyond their control, or for simple human error 1 in 100,000 times they did something.
If someone on my team screwed up I would go to mgmt, this happened & I'm responsible.
"Henry, I'm so tired of your I chopped the cherry tree!"
I am talking about IT departments with a 100 million dollar plus budget. Like Fortune 50 companies or major research universities.
Small businesses buy off the shelf services perforce.
The days of "hire a sysadmin and let them do whatever they want because wizard stuff" are unfortunately gone, except for in my own self-hosted projects, so there's that. I still do cloud stuff too, it's inescapable.
I think to break this cycle IT folks need to start translating IT concerns into business concerns sans the technical explanations. The business people cutting the checks do not want technobabble and don't' share IT's concerns. So its on IT to expand its vocabulary to achieve both business and IT goals. Or get increasingly ignored.
@LovesTha @downey @epi @matrix we make a lot of use of RocketChat - it's proven to be superb (even though it uses MondoDB)... and it supports federation: https://docs.rocket.chat/guides/administrator-guides/federation
@downey Because it's cheaper to hire a lawyer to figure out a contract than to keep an IT department around. Not saying that this makes the decision any better.
It's more than only choice. Young generation is used to, addicted to walled gardens. Literally.
When I was pre-school, I used to stroll around the whole place. No, it's not, that nobody cared. Everybody did. There was a kind of supervision.
Parenting has changed from decent supervision to rigid surveillance and total control.
You even can't leave a playground without the help of a full grown as a child.
I find THAT frightening!
After all, sociology is the scientific butcher shop, where we make sausage from the leftovers of other faculties.
On the other hand, we were the best experts to organize evidence finding research on the spreading of viruses like Sars-2. Virologists and epidemiologists sucked completely so far.
@lightweight i don't disagree with that at all. i just thikn even the best of us look pretty lack-luster & un-impressive these days. there's little draw for others, when the best look like they're fairing all the same.
full agree, maybe we can make things radically better & no one will notice or care. but right now, few of us are living exceptionally better technical existences. most of us are still trapped on one or two workstations, living in some sad dark pre-cloud personal computing environment, often with cobbled-together environments we've artisanally manufactured. this is not how we win.
@jauntywunderkind420 Huh. Not sure that describes how I live :) I benefit from my own cloud quite a lot...
@jauntywunderkind420 @downey @matrix very very painfully slowly non-alpha geeks are starting to realise the folly of putting too many eggs in one basket and allowing too much power to concentrate... stuff like this: https://au.pcmag.com/news/60591/what-does-big-tech-know-about-you-basically-everything and https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/10/technology/techs-frightful-five-theyve-got-us.html (these concern the Frightful Five, among whom Salesforce would *love* to be).
For people who care about, support, or build Free, Libre, and Open Source Software (FLOSS).