Monday, June 8, 2009

Bridges, Booms, Busts, Banks, Bailouts, ... Who Needs Capacity Planning?

Given that Wall Street management has proven once again that there are black swans; this time on a global scale, why would anyone be crazy enough to contemplate capacity management in the middle of such a mess?

See what Wall Street IT managers Simple CIO and Sal Viati have to say about it in "Let the Bridge Fall—As Long as It Falls on Time" (with apologies to Galileo).

"The commonly held idea that it's cheaper to over-engineer the hardware architecture to ensure adequate capacity is patently false. Here's the simple counter-example. If performance testing is skipped in order to meet the release schedule (and who knows if that's really valid?), and the deployed application ends up running single-threaded with lousy performance, a boat-load of the cheapest servers from China won't improve that."


"The bottom line is not really new. The sagacity of looking beyond the end of your nose is a truism, but incredibly that truth has been lost in the irrational exuberance of false Wall Street economics. A robust economy and IT customer satisfaction both come from foresight, not just eyesight. In fact, it's the second word in capacity planning.

Lest you think I'm being too hard on Wall St., listen to Peter Day of the BBC interviewing Philip Delves-Broughton about his new book entitled, What They Teach You at Harvard Business School: My Two Years in the Cauldron of Capitalism. Some points to listen for:
  • MBAs are not taught to get their hands dirty with such sleazy activities as sales. That's sales as in: salesforce, sales people, the Fuller Brush Man.
  • Neither Steve Jobs nor Bill Gates have an MBA.
  • Too much devotion to spreadsheet calculations and powerpoint presentations. This is why Robert McNamara (Harvard MBA) mis-managed the Vietnam War. Too much faith in (manipulated) uncorroborated numbers.
  • Total disconnect between teaching abstract business models and the business of business which is, err... like... selling stuff.
  • These are the people running things! (Let's read that again)
  • The Economist rankings: French model beats Anglo-Saxon model (of which Wall St. is obviously a subset).
Update (Tue, Jun 9, 2009): George Soros (hedge-funder extraordinaire) estimates this black swan could be 3-5 times bigger than the one seen in 1929. Update (Wed, Jun 10, 2009): Nobel economist, Joseph Stiglitz, slams Wall St. for tarnishing the reputation of American-style capitalism, which may pose new threats to global stability and U.S. security. Update (Mon, Jul 20, 2009): Associate director of M.I.T. Media Lab considers institutional monocultures in his Boston Globe op-ed piece: "What can failures teach us?"

No comments: