What Your Manager Is Thinking About for the Next Year
Budgets for fiscal 2009/2010 are being worked on, or are about to be, so what kind of projects should your manager be looking at, and which ones should they avoid?
And you need to think about this: would any of the decisions being made affect you adversely or help make your job terrible or put you in line for a layoff?
Getting a pulse on what management is thinking can be tricky, but Paul Murphy at ZD Net has some thoughts for managers to ponder that could inform about how management is likely approaching the budget. Murphy's a Linux guy, so keep that in mind, but his points are practical and smart. From his blog:
Windows 7 looks pretty good (it compares to Vista like 98c did to 95a). Any "Vista capable" PCs you may have can run it, and users will thank you for what they'll see as real and positive change.
On anything else to do with Windows, stop digging the hole. If it works, do any Win7 compatibility changes needed and leave it alone. Freeze anything you can that involves outside expenditures, especially for evergreen support, systems software and consultants. If you previously brought in specialized expertise to help with something, find a way to train some of your own people to handle it instead.
If anything that costs non-staff dollars or invoking risk looks avoidable, avoid it. This is not the year to move to DB2, experiment with network virtualization, merge some SQL-Server DBs, implement system-wide identity management or do anything else that's risky and expertise-intensive. Have your people do what they do, focus on helping them keep their jobs, talk long and loudly about improving performance and reliability, but don't undertake anything that's new and avoidable.
If you absolutely can't avoid doing something, maximize your own staff involvement, incur hardware costs in preference to outside expertise costs and be prepared to abandon previously ironclad corporate standards if that's what it takes to bring in cheaper and more functional stuff like Linux, open source applications, and Solaris.
This is mostly desktop and operating system specific, but the gist is, stay out of too much expensive outsourcing or consultants that can run up a budget very quickly. Stay conservative and make the most out of existing infrastructure. Advice well worn from previous recessions and downturns.