Thursday 6 January 2011

In retrospect 2000-2010: omphaloskepsis ruled

[Image courtesy of Ben Efros]

A conversation with Thierry de Baillon, a perfectly timed tweet from Brian Kenney and an absolutely great post by Vinnie Marchandani force me to write another post today

I best start with the wiki link to Omphaloskepsis - one down, two to go. Navel-gazing is a frequently used term here in NL to label people who aren't too preoccupied with the world around them, putting it nicely

The conversation with Thierry started with customer service, me stating that
@tdebaillon There's an inverse relationship between product margin and customer service - as illogical as that sounds

More sarcastically, I added that bad products seem to ROI best, at which Thierry replied
@MartijnLinssen @mijori23 Not the best, but the more short-term profitable. This only works for products with short lifecycle
Which is very true of course - but who determines that lifecycle? Well, for one, the producer himself. So I answered
@tdebaillon @mijori23 Exactly! That's why it also works for SAP, MS, etc: they shorten the lifecycles with "upgrades"
which made me conclude I had to elaborate on this - as usual

It's a great scheme, really: in order to be able to sell bad products and get away with it by offering mere lousy customer service, you simply need to shorten the product lifecycle

Think of it. I mean really

Organisations use these tactics too by the way, by constantly changing the people you eye-to-eye with. I'm willing to take a bet for some sincere money that the average employee in an enterprise is confronted with a new personal manager and / or business unit manager every two years, if not every year

Enter my main take there of Vinnie's article:
Honest CIOs will tell you it was mostly a “lost decade”
It led to a mismatch where the top 25 global technology vendors now make up more than 60 percent of the volume of the amount spent externally
I see similarities there.
Before the year 2000, IT was a highly guarded market with people having to climb the ladder within structured organisations, project and implementation plans. After that, a growing majority of script kiddies took over under the cloak of web. It was so new, and so very close to the end-user, that it happened and was conjured out of thin air. Everyone could label himself a guru as there was no board to decide whether that was apt or not

Those were the new IT employees, and they came by the thousands. Having hardly any prior schooling or experience, navel-gazing was their main expertise. And no one could withstand the hordes. Solving problems? They did their best, I guess, and never even thought or bothered about application maintenance or architectural company fit when doing so

What people now call Application Lifecycle Management is nothing else than a counteraction to the past decade that disrupted the profession of IT. Nowadays, that has turned into the execution of IT

Can we please get back to the profession of IT? Thanks

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