Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Listen, & Learn from people with experience

Sam Ervin was Senator from North Carolina when I was young. I clearly remember watching the Watergate hearings on TV after school, and listening to him speak. What a voice. According to two new books about him, he had a unique way of describing information flow in a bureaucracy.

"It has been my experience" Ervin offered privately, "that the madam of a whorehouse is seldom a virgin"

When the folks at the WSJ quote Gartner about companies preparing to tighten their belts on IT spending it piques my interest.

Gartner yesterday advised clients to cut their tech budgets – even if they haven’t been told to do so by their CEOs. In retrospect, the move seems inevitable. Research companies have been tripping over themselves to release forecasts that show slowing tech spending. Last week, we saw our first forecast that showed a spending decline. That money has to come from somewhere, or, in this case, has to not come from somewhere. The budget-cutting advisory is either the mathematical corollary to a spending slowdown or a self-fulfilling prophecy. In a press release, Gartner gave businesses six tips on how to make the cost cutting go smoothly:
1. Start now. Don’t wait for evidence of a recession to show up on your bottom line.
2. Put the best people you have on the cost-cutting team, and don’t let them resume their regular duties until the new budget is in place. Tie year-end bonuses to how much they save.
3. Don’t second guess earlier decisions. No one project is to blame for the current situation.
4. Get an auditor to make sure the cost cutting is reflected in the overall business’s budget.
5. Share your results with the rest of the company on a weekly basis. Cost cutting is an act of necessity; people want to know that you’re making progress.
6. Have the legal department help you figure out how to get out of onerous contracts.


So how does this relate to Zerowait's business? Our business has been growing very steadily for the last few months as companies look for ways to cut their IT and specifically storage costs while retaining highly trained staff. Clearly the CEO's CFO's , CTO's and CIO's of the world are now preparing for harder times on the way. To stay within tighter budgets a decision may have to be made between staff and hardware support costs, but the C level executive's all know that storage and storage requirements will continue to grow. Given the recessionary times, How would that Madam in Sam Ervin's quote keep her business running? Good staff is hard to replace, would she cut back on building maintenance costs and marketing expenses and keep her staff ? She certainly knows what it takes to produce revenues : ) .

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