Queue the movie Aliens: “…we’re screwed man, it’s over, it’s over! They’re going to come in here and they are going to…! Get a grip Hudson!”. That is what things feel like here at the moment. We are just welding up the armor around the bunker waiting for the Credit Crisis Aliens to get in and decimate IT with their acid blood and ability to plant parasites in our chests. I guess we do need to get a grip and figure out what to do to shift gears for a new reality.
Anyone want to travel to the C-Suite (Alien Central) to request budget for Web 2.0, Cloud Computing, Chrome, or Green initiatives? (Just leave your dog tags and gear here soldier, it will make it easier for us to split it up among ourselves). The whole thing makes me chuckle as I weld another piece of steel up over my door. The first book I go for in situations like these, given my experience and training, is George Orwell’s “1984”. Doublethink spin is the order of the day today. Green Computing, becomes High Energy, Aggressive Server and License Rationalization Savings Initiative. Cloud Computing becomes Radical Infrastructure Outsourcing and Savings Program. Web 2.0 becomes Intensive Customer Acquisition and Support Cost Reduction Program by Having Them Do All of The Backoffice Work. Everyone admit it. You’ve seen names like these before; look at the name of any Congressional Bill, they use the same playbook.
Cynicism aside, the world has changed. IT needs to focus on providing solid data and tools to aid in planning and budgeting for the company to move forward given the new reality. Tactical cost savings initiatives need to be put on the table to keep staff occupied in a productive manner. This is the time to consolidate that server farm, outsource network configuration and maintenance, eliminate under-utilized software, and rationalize/outsource maintenance of the PC hardware base. Each of these are a steel plate welded on the doors to keep the Aliens at bay.
Continue low-cost planning initiatives in new technology — all things pass and this too shall pass in time. IT needs to be ready to move forward without skipping a beat and keeping this focus will help morale as well. New technology is the source of most of the major productivity gains and cost savings of the last 20 years. So the organization as a whole needs to stay tuned-in to any opportunities coming on the horizon.
Plus, think of the fun watching the trade press and the vendors being chased and harvested by the aliens, it could not happen to a better group. I cannot wait for the shift in editorial priority and ad focus. Get your copies of the “Aliens” and “1984” ready for reference!