According to the Celts, today is the day of the year when the boundaries between the living and the dead dissolve. While the ghosts of the departed such as Lehman Brothers stalk the earth, the living put on masks in order to mimic or placate the evil spirits. I’m a little unclear as to what would be the most suitable mask to don to mimic a deceased investment bank (do Armani make masks?), but software vendors across the globe will be nervously hoping that the spirit of Lehman has been thoroughly placated by the kindly sprites of Hank Paulsen, Gordon Brown et al. Fear is stalking the enterprise software market on a scale not seen since the aftermath of the millenium party in 2001.
Ghouls and goblins in the form of financial controllers in large companies are, as we speak, preparing a witches brew of budget cuts sufficient to make the bravest software salesman quail. Companies look at each other nervously and sing around the campfires to keep the spirits up, saying that their particular type of software does such an important job that it won’t be affected, and indeed that in times of adversity, perhaps companies will actually spend more money on critical IT projects? After all, data quality/MDM/(insert sector) is more important than ever now right? Right?
If you believe that you probably also believe in fairies and that derivatives make our financial systems more stable. As sure as night follows day, in times of economic downturn the finance department bring out their trusty red pen and seek out advertising budgets,travel allowances, training and information technology projects to carve up. At present there is a delayed reaction, as IT projects lumber on like zombies, unaware of the carnage waiting ahead. Perhaps our particular sector or project will be unaffected? Perhaps, but few will escape unscathed.
There will shortly be a lot more tricks than treats out there on offer for the enterprise software salesman as he makes his calls this winter.