Sunday, June 12, 2011

Need to have an exit strategy

I believe it is time for me to get out of the business of IT. Here are the reasons:

  • Deer in headlights: I talk to some of my senior managers and they look at me as a deer in the headlights when I tell them about the innovations of Ruby on Rails or noSQL databases. On the other hand, if I was tell them about client server technologies of the late 1990s then we have a conversation. I see myself going down the same path in the next twenty years unless technology is outsourced.

  • Outsource IT: This brings me to the second point. IT is so commoditized. Within a couple of years, I won't need to worry about the operations part since most of this will be outsourced. I heard of government agencies outsourcing the whole Blackberry program to a third party vendor. WHAT?!!! All those jobs! I know this is a big part of the whole world we live in. Do I want my job outsourced in the next five years? I don't think so.

  • Open Source - innovating out of existence: As open source technologies rapidly evolve, more businesses are relying on market analysis and large vendors to recommend what their IT strategy should be. Should a CIO look at open source technologies to enable their IT strategy or look to proven technologies which could be legacy in the next five years? I would guess the latter. As Oracle, IBM, Microsoft and Google start putting cloud services, they are going to bring down costs and at the same time bring down the IT salaries. I believe the days of an Oracle DBA making a decent living are history. An Oracle DBA will make a similar salary as a typical engineer, which is 20% - 25% less then a typical IT staffer. These companies will also start filtering the Open Source technologies and the open source world will become an R&D lab. This is the best bet for any business since businesses don't have the time to update infrastructure every quarter.

What should I do then? I need to refine my customer relationship skills well enough to say, "Would you like fries with that?" ;-)