Dear Bob ...
As a member of IT management, I'm beginning to wonder if we have created a computing environment that is starting to become unsustainable from the perspective of complexity.
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As I talk to other managers in hiring positions, they indicate that it is increasingly difficult to find good talent. If you look at this like a pyramid, with the best and brightest being at the top of the heap, it seems like we inch closer and closer to the top, with fewer and fewer people who are competent enough to effectively deal with all of this "stuff." Thus, the competition for talent is not focused on the top 10 percent or even the top 5 percent of talent; it is perhaps the top 3 percent or less.
Certainly, specialties can help with this, where focused areas of technology can narrow the scope of needed competencies, but most companies in this economy do not seem to want to broaden their talent pool. For me, I guess I'm looking at all of the "stuff" that we have and feel that it's just too much.
I am worried about how all of this will look in 10 years. How do we keep projected 3D images of salespeople from unknown companies out of our offices? Easy -- get the newest satellite 3D blocker/filter from IBM/Cisco/Apple/Intel/HP and rest easy again! Crazy example, but you get my point.
Can we handle it or will we have many more opportunities for unplanned outages, nagging performance issues, or nixing technical decisions because we can not utilize the newest stuff properly?
- Barely Managing
Dear Managing ...
What strikes me about your question is that it has two very different answers, depending on which way you're facing.
In one direction is complexity that's the result of accidental architecture -- information technology that's either accreted in the organization one piece at a time or that's been glued together in chunks as the consequence of mergers and acquisitions that weren't followed by a cleanup phase.