The Next Big Thing
Posts about next generation technologies and their effect on business.

Could the enterprise development and maintenance service market have lost its focus?

lost.pngNone of these concerns that I am about to express are all that new, but they were drive home to me lately in some discussion with others on their plans to cut costs. As some organizations continue their move to use labor arbitrage to cut costs, they are targeting their workforce to have a certain % of the work done by low-cost centers in remote locations. I’ve mentioned before that this is a tactic, not a strategy – although it is a tactic that has proven useful for 20 years, at least.

 

Organizations should be looking for higher levels of automation and reduction of low-value, well-understood roles together, if they want to remain agile and competitive. This approach is radically more cost effective than moving the work off shore, although it may not be a panacea. Some of us may remember all the fervor associated with CASE tools, which in many ways have become a common part of development today -- a new dimension of capability is required.

 

If teams head down the automation route though, it means they will likely need to have people closer to the people who use the systems – since that is where all the value is being delivered, and where the ideas are formed. It probably also means that the quality of the workers needs to be higher and have greater industry experience, not 3rd generation language coders that many organizations current approach defines.

 

The future service model becomes more of a human-augmented automation model as opposed to the way services are thought of today. People are not in the middle, people control value generation through models. The same techniques that are at the foundation of cloud computing will move out into all other business processes including those performed by knowledge workers.

 

Much of the management overhead management personnel falls in this space – that is not to say that true leadership is not required. How much of management actually requires innovative thought? Is this value added space there the time of the people is spent or are they focused down in the mundane??

 

As I talk to individuals in the IT space, there may be a bit too much focus on the optimization of the status quo and not enough view on what is valuable to the business and how that value can be maximized – using the abundance of IT.

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About the Author
About the Author(s)
  • Steve Simske is an HP Fellow and Director in the Printing and Content Delivery Lab in Hewlett-Packard Labs, and is the Director and Chief Technologist for the HP Labs Security Printing and Imaging program.
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