The fact that all the major U.S. auto companies are facing major financial pressures and two out of three are facing government bailout and bankruptcy should be a wake-up call to everyone! Businesses and people in general need to consider what is happening in industries, markets, and technology. The challenge of course is that when you watch the news and discuss what is happening it is very hard for most people, including me and probably you, to know what is really going on! This confusion is caused by the complexity combined with the political and economic agendas of the media, politicians, and business leaders discussing the situation.
The business leaders with the most to loose seem to have a blind spot right where they need visibility the most – just look at Kodak, GM and Chrysler. Kodak new for more than 30 years that the digital camera was coming but somehow did not really believe it would completely replace film in the consumer market until it was too late. Kodak’s stock was $65.95 on Oct 2 1972 ($335 inflation adjusted) and is now under $3 with losses of $2.46 per share last year. That is more than a 99% drop in share price adjusted for inflation! If you invested in GM and Chrysler your shares will likely be worthless.
The key is looking at a shift and really analyzing the long term implications. Is your main product going away completely like traditional camera film? Is your business becoming non-competitive with the rest of the world like the U.S. auto industry? In both these cases the answer is yes! The individuals in the industry need to create a long term strategy to prosper in that change.
In the case of IT the question is two fold: 1. Is there a shift in IT to cloud based computing? 2. Is there a shift to outsourcing tasks to lower cost countries (off-shore)? The answer to both of these questions is yes! So the next step is to start understanding the implications of this and creating a strategy so that your business can thrive in this environment or you, as a technology professional, can take advantage of this shift. The worst thing you can do is stick your head in the sand and say, “oh it is years away.” It is years away, but these shifts usually happen faster than we think – if you wait until it is upon you, it will be too late!!
To go deeper into this IT shift you need to look at what parts of technology are shifting to the cloud and off-shore first. The obvious business shift is software development off-shore and managed IT services to the cloud and off-shore. Simple broad based applications such as email, and CRM will move to the cloud fast.
Plan to benefit from the technology shift to cloud computing and off-shore and you will prosper!