CEO Blog: The Economic Outlook and Technology Decisions
I was reflecting over Thanksgiving dinner about the recently completed US election. The back-and-forth about “our plan” versus “your plan” versus “jobs” versus “tax cuts” has tapered off a bit post-election. But it hasn’t totally gone away. And lots of people have the same view today that they had a month ago in terms of whether the economy will be well served or undermined by the election results. Many of these folk fall into two sub-categories. The first subgroup is made of people in the US who believe the outcome of the election was not really going to make a material impact on the economic outlook, one way or the other. The second subgroup is much, much larger. It is made of people everywhere else in the world, where concerns about the economy on both a local and globe basis are ongoing. In Europe, there is widespread concern about the gravity of the economies ranging from Greece to Ireland to Spain and others. Asia has a different set of worries. And while many feel the economies in North America, the U.S. in particular, is beginning to rebound, it is hardly "strong." So what does that mean as far as technology?
Pretty simple. It means technologists are being asked to spend less while getting more done. This is not the first time this has happened, and it certainly won't be the last. But the interesting phenomenon that is taking place now is the emerging landscape of new tools that can actually deliver significant improvements at radically reduced costs. I highly recommend the report from Peter Goldmacher at Cowen & Company from 2011 which showed tremendous gains to be realized through emerging technologies. This was followed with a subsequent report highlighting organizational migration away from many conventional technology vendors. This is not to say that Hadoop is a silver bullet to fix all your technology ailments any more than it is to say that you can rip out SAP tomorrow. But it does suggest that there is ample opportunity for organizations to benefit by understanding the sea change that is upon us.
At Infobright we see this everyday. Our value proposition reflects this sea change in way that could hardly be any more straightforward. If your business (or solution offering) has a need to store and analyze machine-generated data, we can help you do that much more cost-effectively then more traditional and general purpose alternatives. That's it.
I think hard times make you better. When I was in college, I learned to work on my car because I couldn't afford the mechanic. Professional athletes will tell you they learn more in defeat that in victory. The people of New Orleans will tell you they are stronger and more resilient for having been through the massive devastation and challenges they faced. I had a conversation last year with the CEO of one of our customers who told me he challenged his team to do more with less, and they came back after a couple weeks and said with about $500,000 additional investment they could get a 2x improvement on their current system. He said "they did not understand I wanted a 10x improvement for $50,000". In then end, that's pretty much what they got, but it takes thinking differently sometimes to make that jump. And hard times push people to do that.
As my father said to me when I was very young, "something good comes out of everything."