Friday, February 20, 2009

Market Update

Hello again, I wanted to spend some time today giving a pep talk on the economy. It's a tough time, right? Lots of local events (SQL Saturday, South Florida Code Camp) that I've attended lately have taken on a ghastly pall as tech people talk to those who are out of work or those who are afraid they might be. I can say from my perspective that people aren't in as good of a mood as they were a few years ago. The lack of recruiters at the events is a telling sign as well.

My training as a an economist will help me put another twist on this topic. My small business in software has been hurt a bit by the economy a bit. I know some poeple who have been laid off. I talk to customers or potential customers daily. Things have definately slowed down in the market. But where does this go?

UP! Up, you ask? How? Have I lost my mind? Some would like to say yes, but I really don't think so. In my discussions with clients noted above, I have yet to talk to a single client who has cancelled a project. Most of the managers are cautious and content to push them into later in this year. Budgets have been crimped and a lot of money isn't available as it used to be. YET the work and the necessity of the work is not diminished. This bodes very well for the future of IT.

It's really a shame that many companies and managers view IT as an expense and not an asset. My company specializies in Business intelligence, this is a raw asset. Every penny that you invest in my company building your BI tools will easily return it's cost, and if it doesn't do significantly more than that I have failed. Some parts of IT have expense components - but the net results are assets.

For a look at the numbers, the official unemployment rate is about 8%. That means 92% of people are working. Economic growth is always sluggish in the winter months. It might be a slow spring and hopefully a better summer, but the work is out there, it's building, and the best thing one can do is to use this recession as a time to build up for the coming good times. Build your network, work on self-training. Read that SQL book that you're had for three years on your bookshelf. Attend a lot of the free events in our area, meeting new people, learning about new technologies that are going to be key in the next boom cycle.

A recession is a horrible thing to waste.