The wheels of fortune
I remember during the dot.com days, it was said that the only people actually making money on the web were people selling books on how to make money on the web!
Could the wheel have turned again, and now it's people selling ways of making money (or saving it) in a recession that could be the people making the money?
Far from dot.com scheme's to fuel overnight fortunes, the advice I am reading these days is pretty solid; communicate your value proposition clearly, have an efficient business process, be easy to do business with, keep close to your numbers and focus on profitable opportunities or customers you can help the most, and share the real challenges with your people.
Isn't it really all about enterprise efficiency?
Efficiency is a relative measure. Before the wheel was invented carrying everything on your horses back was deemed efficient. The wheel brought alternatives and questioned the wisdom of heavy loading directly onto the horse.
The wheel did not replace the horse. It showed us ways of getting even more from the horse. The horse remained at the front end, but carts and wagons attached to the back created new opportunities. The job of 6 horses before, and several network round trips, could be achieved with just 1 faithful filly (hopefully not an ubuntu linux trademark yet!).
Most companies have built up their in-house IT horsepower. This works on its own, local servers with software loaded on directly and administered locally. Over time most companies have accumulated a lot of "horses", but never quite enough for everything it seems - and so the ranch grows.
Some innovative companies are hitching their inhouse systems to Cloud computing services. The strategy is not necessarily about moving away from local computing, its more about augmenting what you already have. It's about getting a better and perhaps longer running return on investment from existing IT assets.
These days, we have cloud computing services for storage, search, continuity, security, policy management, e-discovery and more. These are capabilities which can work in concert with your inhouse systems rather than be full blown application replacements. It's all relative; your competitive advantage, economic success, and personal sanity may benefit from exploring these new "wheels" of technology. You could save money, time, and deliver even more to your end users.
It's an exciting time to be in IT.