Re: Is IT growth slowing?

Subject: Re: Is IT growth slowing?
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- progeny -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 30 Apr 2001 12:56:43 -0300

Elna Tymes wrote:

> Following the lead of Microsoft, most software and hardware
> manufacturers have adopted the policy of continual upgrades to existing
> products as a means of assuring revenue growth. Are we reaching - or
> have we reached - the point where this policy is no longer warranted,
> resulting in less demand for IT professionals across the board?

This stage is what is normally called saturation. The auto-industry
reached it in the early 1970s, when virtually everyone who wanted a car
had one, and most of the new cars sold would be replacements for old

I don't have any statistics, but my own impression is that IT has been
moving towards saturation for about five years. That's when I first
began to hear of resistance to the idea of automatically upgrading when
a new release came out. Or at least that's the case in North America.

However, if continual upgrades are no longer the key to a successful IT
company, that doesn't necessarily mean that the demand for IT
professionals will be less.

For one thing, new markets may emerge, such as embedded systems. may
emerge. These are less glamorous than some of the areas that developed
through the Eighties and Nineties, but they could be reliable areas of

For another, IT as a whole doesn't have to rely on software upgrades.
Some companies, like Microsoft or Adobe, are so locked into this tactic
that they might have to change. However, companies like IBM have always
relied on selling services and hardware more than software. In fact,if
IBM relied on selling software, it would probably be bankrupt; it's
**terrible** at selling software.

This move away from selling software also fits nicely with the open
source movement, which has been growing in strength recently. Without
climbing all the way up on my soapbox, the open source business model is
built on free software and selling services. IBM plans to spend a
billion on it this year (OK - maybe more for cleaning the graffiti of
its "Peace, Love and Linux" campaign from the sidewalks of San Francisco
and Chicago).

In short, things will probably change in IT, but not necessarily for the

Bruce Byfield 604.421.7177 bbyfield -at- progeny -dot- com

"And if you had some spirit then it wouldn't be so bad,
It's your awesome anonymity which makes me get so mad."
- Attila the Stockbroker, "Vegetables"


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