Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Wot say, Gartner?

My last bog- Specialists, Generalists & now Versatilists![]- was based on the observations and predictions mad by Gartner in their Research paper titled 'The IT Professional Outlook: Where will we go from here?' [ ]. Besides the culmination of a strong market for Versatilists, the paper also described various changes the IT Industry is poised to face by 2010. Changes such as:

  • Segregation of the industry into defined focus areas
  • Migration towards the ISV/ISP model
  • Growth in Relationship management and other Business facing positions
  • Increase in demand for Functional experts

The predictions revolved around the percentage workforce shifts that these changes would bring. Although very captivating at first, several predictions raise more than reasonable doubts. Lets see if I can outline the important ones I identified. ;)

To start at the top, the first Prediction on the cover says that, "By 2010, the IT profession will split into four domains of expertise: technology, information, process and relationships (0.7 probability)." Strangely, page 3 sees this prediction suddenly jump 10% to 0.8! Without explanation, I might add.

The third Strategic Planning Assumption on page 3 states, “Through 2010, 30 percent of top technology performers will migrate to IT vendors and IT service providers (0.8 probability).” Does this mean we will see individuals move to vendor/service provider firms or do we expect to see corporations favor the ISV/ISP model? This article was supposed to be for the ‘IT Professional’ but this seems to be more of a corporate viewpoint. Also, I’m assuming the shift is from core Consulting, but then where do all those custom manufactured ‘Harley Davidsons’ of software that form the core IT solutions for the likes of eBay, Wal-Mart and ICICI end up?

The oddities get really interesting once the Analysis takes off. 1.0 Introduction: Setting the Stage says that, “Business skepticism toward the effectiveness of IT, the rise of IT automation, worldwide geographic labor shifts and blended service-delivery models mean that IT professionals must prove that they can understand business reality — industry, core processes, customer bases, regulatory environment, culture and constraints — and contribute real business value to their enterprises.” First of all, what the hell is the blended service-delivery model? A little consulting, some process design and maybe a product (if we can find the time)! HE! HE! But on a serious note, do IT Professionals still need to prove that they can understand business realities? Sometimes I really hate the d***heads that made it big in the early 90’s because they ended up projecting a Programmer as someone perpetually hacking away at ‘alien’ code in some maintenance project. Damn them!

Moving on; 2.1 Global Outsourcing points to the acceleration of the offshoring/cosourcing initiative in various aspects. It just got me thinking, if offshoring were to grow really big, really aggressively, India would end up facing pretty steep competition from China and Brazil!

2.2 IT Automation seems to take the cherry. Just how the f*** do you automate Software Development!! I mean, what we come up with some sort of adaptive network (ala SkyNet) that simply ‘reads’ user Requirements to come up with a solution on its own? Man, that would really sound the death knell for Commercial Software Development!

In 3.0 The IT Profession Splits Into Four Domains of Expertise, the discussion on Technology infrastructure and services predicts that, “routine coding and programming activities will gradually shift to developing economies.” Like we don’t already get enough of that! What do we expect next? That they actually set up the processes whereby, they send us the code snippets, that they want us to splice, into the specified modules, ...

The focus area listing for the Technology Infrastructure and Services domain on page 8 was refreshing. To my joy, they placed Enterprise Architecture right at the top and Web Service very last. But, I’m not really sure haw Desktop Computing ended up under Infrastructure! On the same lines, Internet Design and Web Aesthetics somehow found their way under Information Design! :

Doubts apart, one of the most absurd observations I made was that the article made no attempt whatsoever to define the sample/scope they used to deduce all these predictions! Is Gartner trying to mask a set of market hunches behind a veil of numbers, or am I just ranting out of context??!!?? :S

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