Friday, September 30, 2005

The Bottom

Words elicit images in our minds. Like the Inkblot in a notebook, they trigger basic reactions in our psyche. There is a word that does this for me in Information Technology. The word is "Bottom". When uttered, it can cause one to envision "bottom of the barrel", bottom feeders, or the most toughest challenge in IT, "Bottom Liners". Isn't it odd that Bottom Liners seldom will drive down the highway (Freeway in Southern Ca.) in a Benz with retread tires? Or perhaps a very "Bottom of the line" car that I often expect to see grass clippings spewing from it. These bottom liners create tough IT challenges for Support people and engineers. Often Critical Applications are run on underpowered servers or drives that have been spinning for 5 years or more. Huddled closely together in unairconditioned rooms, the servers often have four or more critical roles that allow the owners and their employees to have paychecks, make their car payments, have a roof over their heads. It is not a matter of "You get what you pay for", but rather a lack of business vision the causes this. Instead of a "What is it going to cost me" response to IT, we need to spread the idea of building.

Imagine New York and New Jersey without the George Washington Bridge. Imagine how commerce would be if there were only ferries? Even now they have out grown the "bandwidth", but without it, there would be nothing to support the traffic. So the disasters that occur from bottom liners are endless. We all need market share. But experience in the business shows that a little investment can bring on big growth and allow a company to position itself for rapid acquisition of opportunities. Without preparation, they are yesterday’s news. For the people that do not want to invest in growth, stability, education on new technology, we can only say, "ignore this and watch others pass you by".For several years now Microsoft has been nudging business on adopting Active Directory, Exchange, SQLServer. Now there is an explosion of useful business applications being marketed by Microsoft. But many firms are not in a position to implement them or support them. They will therefore become the "Latecomers" because of the "bottom line" thinking of the decision makers. Like children kicking the surf of spent waves on the shoreline they will watch those innovators riding the wave crest, with a voice in their head saying "That could have been us, but we stayed on the Bottom".

Curt Spanburgh Solutions Consulting Group.MCSE,CCA,MGPCP (Microsoft Great Plains Certified Professional)http://www.scg.net