Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Does I.T. really benefit from a recession, sometimes?


Patrick Gray has an important column in Tech Republic (Oct. 7), “How to Recession-proof IT”, with link here.

Typically, in a contracting environment, departments come up with projects based on “creative destruction” such as running an enterprise on fewer or less expensive servers. Sometimes they hire consultants with expertise on contraction-related activity, or capacity planning skills.

But there are often projects that come about because of regulatory requirements or government actions taken in relation to a problem or crisis. The recent “bailout” is potentially an obvious example, and it is likely to follow suit around the world in various forms (projects related to coordinating efforts among different European countries, for example). Sometimes the projects get staffed quickly. Other examples include Medicaid (MMIS), and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and various state welfare programs. Typically, companies look to fill contractor positions very quickly with application-area specific experience.

In the current economic crisis, it would seem logical that there would soon emerge a demand for people with experience in credit channel processing, and particularly with mortgage valuations and securities. Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac experience, even in the past, could turn out to be a good thing in IT -- just to help the Treasury Department and Fed figure out this mess..

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