My sales pipeline today would be robust if I was given £1 for every time I opened an IT publication and read about the state of the IT market and expectations for recovery.
Let's face it, times will remain tough for the foreseeable future. The global economy is volatile and markets are tightening. The bottom line for chief information officers is to give the business more value for less spend.
But herein lies the rub. Historically, business applications and their implementation platforms have been so closely coupled that firms spend half their annual IT budgets upgrading systems to cater for the new technology for no business benefit. In trying to get 'more for less', firms are resorting to outsourcing.
This has highlighted the shortcomings of the traditional development approaches where different development teams, even those using the same tools and specifications, still manage to build systems that don't work together.
This is expensive to fix and getting 'more for less' becomes a practical impossibility.
You only need to refer to the Bible for an analogy. The construction of the Tower of Babel, which supposedly linked earth to heaven, frustrated the builders because they had to deal with too many languages.
With IT, people doing things their own way results in incompatible systems, and compatibility and manageability, according to research, are IT managers' biggest concerns.
Ironically, the IT industry has not adopted hi-tech methods to address this. You would never construct a building without plans from an architect.
Nor would you design new types of bricks every time you wanted to build a house; you would use standard components. IT teams, conversely, have a habit of creating everything from scratch.
But the tools are now available to avoid this. Use an architecture, define your plans in a model and generate code from the model. It is less prone to errors. This is what Model Driven Architecture (MDA) aims to do.
So, what does this mean for value-added resellers? Capitalising on MDA means reduced software development costs and easier maintenance. Ultimately it's about delivering value that will attract that elusive signed purchase order.
Roger Lane is UK country manager at Interactive Objects Software.
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