I came across an interesting look at the recent free fall of the markets that we have been experiencing courtesy of Mark ‘Rizzn’ Hopkins on his personal blog. In the post he points to a blog post by George F. Colony; the founder and CEO of Forrester Research, where he suggests that this tech recession will be different than the one’s before it.
Colony makes five points to show why he feels this way. The first point is that 2001-2003 was a tech depression. Everything related to technology was stopped, slashed or burned. Tech spending in 2000 in the US was up to the 12% mark which meant when it fell there was a long way down. In contrast tech spending was only up by 6% in 2006 to 2007. So while there will be a fall it won’t be anywhere as bad as previous drops.
His second points relates to how CIOs and CEOs are planning on changing their way out of the crisis. With the number of mergers and the increasing move to greening the IT landscape there is more a sense of new possibilities rather than desperation. As he says
When we come out the other side of this crisis, companies will look quite different — and technology will have been a catalyst in those changes.
Third, tech is everywhere. In the passing seven years tech has become a lot more integrated throughout our lives. Cell phone penetration has tripled, eCommerce is way up and IT has become as he calls it Business Technology. To make his point he suggests
If you don’t believe me, start unplugging wires at your company and see how long you can develop, manufacture, deliver, sell, and service your products
For his fourth point he suggests that the consumer landscape itself is incredibly different than it has ever been. Technology has become more of a partner in our personal lives unlike before where it was still in that new toy stage. In this instance we may actually see an increase in consumer use of technology as they use it to find a way out of their individual perdiciments of things like job loss.
Finally he suggests that by the very nature of the technology lanscape right now we will find ourselves pushed forward out of the mess
There were no big tech changes afoot back in 2001-2002. Not true now. Virtualization, social computing, mobile computing, Green IT, SOA, extended Internet (connecting the physical world to the digital world) are front and center on the agendas of large companies. Will many of these projects get cut back? Yes. But many are part of long-term company plans — they will persist despite economic slowdowns.
I’ve only highlight much of what he has said in his post but if you have any doubts about how technology will make it through this current situation I suggest giving it a read. It just might make you feel a little more hopeful and god knows we could do with some of that.