The other day I referred to the announcement of 40,000 layoffs on Monday alone. I stand corrected. It was actually more than 70,000 American workers losing their jobs (some were reported later in the week after the fact). I'm having a hard time framing anything to do with technology for small business in any other terms outside of this hemmoraging economy.
Stupid question #1: How could anyone do otherwise?
Stupid question #2: Everyone keeps referring to this as the worst economic crisis since The Great Depression. The technology sector didn't exist back then. How will an industry that lives and breathes on "the next new thing" adapt with a dwindling customer base that only wants to hear about making do with the old thing?
Stupid question #3: Senators Sarbanes and Oxley have retired, as of Congress returning to work this month. Is SOX helping or hurting business? Passed in 2002 in reaction to the Enron and Tyco crisis, it is supposed to prevent big public companies from punking shareholders. Is it me or did a number of financial institutions manage to do just that anyway? We do know companies are paying through the nose on primarily additional IT infrastructure to comply with SOX. Small companies are affected too since so many do contract work for big companies and are therefore held to SOX compliance standards, as well. I repeat, is SOX helping or hurting?
Stupid question #4: Software as a service makes sense in this economy. It's scalable and offloads maintenance somewhere else. Everyone talks about SaaS. But, we don't hear as much about hardware as a service (it's around, just less buzz). Will that change this year? What will that look like for smaller businesses?
Stupid question #5: I firmly believe there are technologies that can help businesses ride out the bad economy by streamlining work and creating money-saving efficiencies. But, if a company doesn't have the money (or the credit) to buy the gear or the service regardless of how helpful it might be, what difference does that little fact make? Should Washington be looking at ways to help keep these technologies accessible to smaller companies? Could it mean life or death for a significant number of fledgling businesses?
Why it's a good thing the digital television conversion date got postponed; click here!
p.s. For those of you that read my blog posting earlier in the week announcing that the Senate had voted to delay the conversion until June. FYI... that is not my mother in the YouTube video link above.
Last updated: Jan 29, 2009
RENEE ORICCHIO is a technology writer and former supervising news producer for CNN Financial News. She has been covering the computer industry since 1987. @oricchio