Over on eWEEK.com, commentator Rich Milgram has offered a list of Four Tips for IT Career Survival during the current economic turmoil. Reading the list, it sounded to me like Four Reasons to Get Serious About SaaS/PaaS.
Tip #1: Provide meaningful results
The rapid time to value of SaaS/PaaS solutions, and the tight feedback loop that they enable between user requests and prompt modifications and improvements, dramatically raise the profile of the IT professional as a valuable contributor.
Tip #2: Step outside the comfort zone
People often ask me if SaaS/PaaS adoption is a precursor to outsourcing and IT force reduction. My feeling is that an IT department that’s administering a basement full of commodity technology is a prime candidate for outsourcing, but a staff of business process engineers who are vigorously engaged with unit managers and other stakeholders are far less likely to be replaced by contractors or generic service providers. Yes, this means learning new vocabularies and adopting new points of view. Do it.
Tip #3: Take advantage of learning opportunities
I’m perplexed by the Stockholm Syndrome that seems to make developers more comfortable with tolerating the pain that they know than they are with the idea of learning how to escape it. There’s never been greater access to free materials and experimental learning environments. Core skills never become obsolete, but new skills are important to maintain any professional’s value.
Tip #4: Plan for the best, yet prepare for the worst
SaaS/PaaS development lets an organization build the systems that it will want to have in place, fully baked, when business conditions improve. The subsequent scale-up can proceed far more rapidly with SaaS/PaaS than with previous generations of technology.
I’m not saying that any of us are going to enjoy the next few years, but let’s engage the opportunities that they present — instead of hunkering down, and merely hoping we’ll still be here when the upturn arrives.