They’re gloomy. You were expecting something else?
Half of CIOs are looking to cut consulting-services costs, 35 percent want to reduce computer and server expenses, and 23 percent want savings on software, according to a Goldman Sachs survey.
The city of Seattle is using VMware to consolidate its existing servers, instead of buying 139 new ones from IBM. Next year, CIO Bill Schrier wants to use more of VMware’s so-called virtualization software, which lets computers run multiple operating systems, saving costs. VMware shares have dropped 71 percent this year before today.
Other parts of the software market, including SAP business applications and Microsoft Corp. operating systems and office program packages, may fare worse. Last week, Gartner cut its 2009 enterprise software growth forecast to 6.6 percent, or $244.3 billion, predicting slowdowns in those areas. That’s down from a September forecast of 9.5 percent.
While Microsoft will benefit from the popularity of its SharePoint software, which helps workers collaborate, slowing PC sales will crimp demand for its Windows and Office programs, according to Goldman Sachs. Microsoft spokesman Bill Cox declined to comment.
“I’m worried about every single vendor,” said Citigroup’s Thill. “It’s just a question of magnitude. The worst may very well be ahead.”
This is the kind of thing that made me wince throughout the year when people would talk about the technological Golden Age that would rise up to meet us once The Annointed One took His Holy Hand off the Bible on January 20th. Supposedly, the Obama Administration would peel back the veneer of dumbth and, with our battalion of bluetooth-earbud-wearing egotists packed into the White House, we’d stop banging rocks together in our little mud huts, and partake in the blessings of our twenty-first century Renaissance.
If this report be reliable, there’s no Renaissance ahead. There may not even be a chicken-in-every-pot. Can’t eat a unicorn fart.
My advice? First, take some solace in the list of worst predictions for 2008, because that’s what I’m gonna do. Predictions is predictions, they isn’t certainties — sometimes we need to remind ourselves of this.
1…A very powerful and durable rally is in the works. But it may need another couple of days to lift off…
3…Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae are fundamentally sound…
6…Existing-Home Sales to Trend Up in 2008…
7…I think you’ll see (oil prices at) $150 a barrel by the end of the year…
10…There’s growing evidence that parts of the debt markets…are coming back to life.
Now those have to do with things being predicted good, and then goin’ bad. Except, I guess, for #7 if you’re a person who’s looking to buy oil products and not sell ‘em. But predictions can go the other way — forecast gloom, and then become confounded as life hands you an unexpected bouquet of roses and chocolates. That does happen just as often.
And as Americans, we have a long and stalwart legacy of galvanizing ourselves into action as a direct consequence of need. When the need softens, we hibernate like big fat bears. We excel at adapting to the requirement of the moment. Once the zombies are all slaughtered and the mortgage payment is off in the mail and levee has been fixed and the foot fungus has been cured — we, The American People, can sit back the farthest, relax more muscles, flip on that idjit box that fastest, stick out that big ol’ belly the farthest, pop open that beer, and make sure it’s the biggest, coldest one there is…better than any nation, civilized or no, this rock in space has ever seen. That is what we do. We fix things that are busted, and once they’re fixed, we relax to such a masterful extent we practically melt.
That really is what’s been happening here. When did we really get disenchanted with technology in general? When it pulled this Chicken Little bullshit about the sky falling, and the world coming to an end because there weren’t enough digits to store the year. Everyone would have to hoard bar soap and banana chips into their backyard bunkers, and put a .50 cal turret on top, remember that?
When did we start wallowing in this modern, non-technical malaise? Survivor? Jar Jar Binks? The View? Britney Spears? Right about that same time. It’s been so handy to blame it all on that punk smirking cowboy George W. Bush — but he didn’t come along until about a year and a half later.
We weren’t being conservative. We were being fat and lazy. We were pissed off about that money we lost in the dot-com bubble, and besides, we didn’t want anything else invented because we figured it had all been invented already. Well, we’re still in that mode.
Maybe a good stiff economic crisis will be all it takes to pull us out again. Necessity is the mother of invention.
It’s worked before. In our country, anyway. Pretty consistently.
Think with high hopes. Act with low ones. Let every single new day you meet, as the Good Lord sees fit to let you roll outta that bed, know who’s boss — take it by the horns. And this will all work out. Really, it will.
And when it does, you better believe His Holiness At 1600 Pennsylvania will take all the credit for it. That’s okay. In government as well as in business, the Dilbert-pointy-haired-boss is a part of life. He’ll always be there. Ignore him, and do your best.