Having just returned from a 2-week vacation, I’ve had plenty of time to think about things that my work schedule normally pushes to the background – music, hobbies, investments (don’t ask), and our surreal national political scene. After listening to some of the bizarre preconceptions and arguments about health care reform and US economic policy (throws shoe at TV), it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that many of our beliefs are so ingrained that they approach the status of “religious” tenets.
As business and IT professionals, we like to think that we operate in a reality-based world, where facts and good sense dominate. But the same factors that muddy public policy decisions – incomplete and inaccurate information, the lack of a contextual model that can assist in predicting outcomes, and inherent biases toward or away from certain solution approaches – are just as influential in the decisions we make, every day.
One example that’s top-of-mind, for me, is the debate over managed services delivery models. EXTOL and other companies in the B2B integration space have offered managed services for years, but cost-cutting measures and our shrinking economy have pushed managed services to the fore, of late. We are still seeing greater demand in the market for self-managed B2B integration than for 3rd party managed services, but battered budgets, scarce IT resources, and shifting business priorities make managed services more attractive than ever.
Deciding between self-managed B2B integration and managed services integration usually comes down to financial and budgetary factors (capex vs. operating budgeting, front-loaded vs. ongoing expenses, etc.). While “religion” can come into play here, decisions at this level are usually based on clear-cut business priorities. Continue reading