It has been a bit of a tough week, as the economic climate continues to deteriorate. IBM and Google announced additional layoffs while there is continued unrest at Dell and Nokia. Even “new” green technology companies such as OptiSolar and DayStar are at risk due the pressures of lower oil and natural gas prices.
As technology mergers and acquisitions continue to heat up, more bad news may be on the way. Large mergers such as Sun and IBM will result in job losses on both sides as economies of scale are put into place. Cisco went out of their way to insure the employes of their latest acquisition , Pure Digital, that their jobs were safe and (reportedly) offered lucrative retention packages. Finally, small start-ups are struggling to gain traction amidst their larger rivals and are seeking shelter.
While the mainstream media focuses on the huge economic loses of the financial sector, this economic downturn is putting extreme pressure on virtually every sector of the economy including information technology. IT is the backbone of nearly everything we hold dear; Yahoo and Google Mail, Google Search, Microsoft Exchange, Facebook, the Internet, Hulu, Cloud Computing, HD Television, and much, much more. Wipe IT off the face of the planet and we are back to snail-mail, AM/FM/HAM radio, and after-the-fact news.
Jack Welch used to talk about how his VP of HR was an equal member of his executive team along with the CFO. What about the CTO/CIO/CSO, or VP of IT? It is time for IT to move from the dimly lit basements to the brightly lit offices of the executive floor. IT is not simply plumbing, but is the veins and arteries that carry the data that allows the revenue to flow.