Sunday, January 04, 2009

Architetcure in 2009

This will be my first entry into the blog for 2009. It has been a while due to a lot of churn over last few months. I am happy to see 2008 go. The only fear I have is that at the end of 2009, I don’t want to be longing for 2008. What a brutal year. I am hoping that people have learnt some lessons that you can not always focus on short term results at the expense of doing the right thing that has long term value. Architecture falls in that long term value category, yet first thing organizations do when it comes to cutting costs - they sacrifice architecture. Why do we keep rewarding people that cause untold harm in the long run while seemingly achieving short term goals? Most IT organizations fall into the same category. Senior executives are rewarded based on short term gains or operational efficiencies at the expense of long term viability. Current environment will only exasperate the situation.

It seems to me that executives and boards have not met the responsibilities entrusted upon them. Most executives have only been interested in benefiting themselves. I believe that executive bonuses should be kept in escrow and only be handed out at least 3-5 years after they are eligible to receive it. The disbursement of bonuses should be contingent on meeting some tough criteria where it is clear that no long term harm was brought upon by actions of these executives that may have fattened the bottom line in one year but killed the company over long haul.

My apologies for ranting but it has been very frustrating last few months. Now we need to focus on future and adjust accordingly. One trend I am seeing is that without clear, measurable ROI, funding is going to be scarce. There are fewer (if any) opportunities to experiment. This also means that vendors will have to adjust their expectations and will have to prove beyond power point slides that their product is worth investing in.

Happy new year everyone.

Ashok Kumar
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