The Web Frees Up The IT Budget

Time to build that onerous software application and deploy it across the Enterprise network. That means a big budget expenditure, RFP’s, vendor evaluations, securing project leaders and developers and massive project management plans and on and on. This is about to change. In fact, soon it won’t be about programmers at all, and frankly, as CIO or COO you won’t care really what the “technology platform” is. Or where it is. Okay, maybe you’ll care where it is. With Cloud Computing, Social Media Applications and Web 2.0 technologies a fundamental shift is occurring in business thinking about IT infrastructure and costs.

Because of the “computing cloud” and eaiser access to super-servers, lower cost of bandwidth and Web 2.0 technologies “hiding” the deep technical stuff, big budget projects are going to almost cease. It won’t happen overnight, after all, an investment has been made in legacy systems and the ROI is still being seen. The shift will start with small to mid-size enterprises, who are not beholden to large network infrastructure systems and costs and development teams. Which also means the small and mid-size enterprise and company, will have a significant window of competitive opportunity over the large companies. This could seriously hamper the earnings and profitability of large corporations who don’t yet take could computing and new technologies seriously.

In the next few years, it won’t necessarily be developers that corporations are seeking. It will be people who can work with databases and twist and turn online applications every which way from Sunday. They won’t need traditional programming skills. They will need analytics and database development and management skills, since they won’t be “coding” but simply “arranging, mapping and formatting” existing databases through intuitive user interfaces. It will all be done via the Web. The budget and project scope will now look at a) monthly storage, bandwidth and load costs, b) adaptability and ease of use of interface c) where data is stored, d) back and crisis management plans and e) adaptability and interfacing with other systems.

This doesn’t put an end to developers and software programmers, at least not in companies that develop these “utility” style services for the Web or Computing Cloud. But it should leave CIO’s and CEO’s seriously contemplating their IT strategies for the next few years and the types of skilled people they will need. This will also impact the education sector and what skills they will provide to their students. Author Nicholas Carr has intimated at these changes in his book Does IT Matter and the Big Switch already. He is right.

Soon, IT departments internally will simply manage network infrastructure and security (that may also increasingly be outsourced) and replace desktop units and troubleshoot user issues for application usage.

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