Thursday, January 15, 2009

Don’t Waste the Crisis!

Yes, Don’t Waste the Crisis. WhenI first heard this statement, I said 'Wow! What a perspective?'.

It is a question of whether we choose to participate in the recession or make the most of the recession. The one who sees this downturn as the opportunity will emerge stronger when the market starts to recover.

We had our CIO addressing the company yesterday. And this is the quote, he said, was given by a Wall Street Analyst in the Company’s Senior Leadership Meeting. Every company sees this recession as a litmus test for their management competency. The market is watching industry leaders on:

-How do you respond to this downturn?
-Are you able to sustain your growth rate despite the downturn?
-What is your strategy / approach to manage this recession?
-What are your core values?
-What are your strong competencies?
-How robust is your business model?

Remember, the market will have different set of questions during haydays.

What does it mean to IT?. IT is relieved to certain extent from the pressure of responding to growing market trends at least in medium term. Now, it’s the question of whether IT chooses to wait and watch and respond when the market picks up. Or, IT sees a tremendous opportunity in the period of least business events and makes an attempt to internal transformation.

For the past few weeks, I see lots and lots of people talking about Anne’s (Burton group analyst) comment on ‘SOA is Dead’. As someone said, these statements help to generate conversations and engage in a debate.

It’s like Wall Street Collapse. We went to the extent of calling the failure of Capitalism, forgetting that it’s the Failure of Capitalists. Sameway, I would say, it’s the failure of practitioners / Enterprise IT management folks to recognize the value of SOA and pilot it within the company and not the failure of SOA, the paradigm.

I have been participating in the forums of EA and SOA and people literally spend countless hours and efforts in Semantics and Definitions. What is EA and What is not EA?. Though am an Architect myself, I should admit that EAs are self-centered and more focused on roles/responsibilities and what they should do and What they should not do. I agree it is of paramount importance. It is important because we need to communicate to the stakeholders on what we do. However, I strongly feel we need to move beyond that.
We need to focus on ‘what problems do we solve?. How do we help?. Or more exactly – How can we be of immediate help to the company in these tough times?’ Again, We should be talking more about the practice and its and not just the practitioners.

Gartner finds that in 2009, about 50% of the EA efforts will be stopped due to ineffective results of those programs. David Linthicum, the famous SOA evangelist, once said, if your EA efforts are not effective, Stop it! Don’t do something if you don’t pursue it whole-heartedly.

While many of the pundits want us to believe that recession is the best opportunity to invest in innovative, small projects that would bring long-term benefits, it is hard to implement it. Because, for the simple reason that money is tight!.

Instead, Gartner says, EA office should ‘Stop the Projects’ if they don’t result in near-term business value! It’s a different perspective altogether! One wouldn't get credit for stopping something usually!. But, this is the time! :-)

Cost optimization is the need of the hour! Whoever does that will be Hero in the Company!

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