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Here’s a New Term…

By David Rayner | Aug 01, 2010 | Business, Insights

I try to read a lot of blogs, books, and articles that provide insights into what is going on in the market and how we in the technology business can help our clients best adjust to evolving economic, consumer, and technology changes. I’d love to claim credit for this new term and am a bit frustrated that I didn’t think of this before given some of the blog entries I have posted…

People speak and write of “the new normal”  when describing the horizon for our business and economic future. I read an article this week that described instead “The New Abnormal”.  The net of the article was that there really is no “normal” but that there is a new abnormal in consumer behavior that is odd (abnormal) given all we know about the state of our tepid economic recovery and the worries about profligate government spending. The new abnormal is characterized by families taking expensive vacations to exotic destinations and then worrying about saving money by eating out at McDonalds or shopping at Target…while at an exotic port of call. Further evidence of the new abnormal can be seen in the sales results of high end car companies like Mercedes and BMW who are reporting excellent sales volumes, while dollar stores are simultaneously thriving. I think on the way home I may swing by a Dollar Tree store to see how many new Mercedes and BMW’s are parked out front.

I have not sorted out the direct correlation of the New Abnormal for our business and for our clients yet, but it seems to me on the surface to be another pillar supporting the case for massive business agility. I hesitate to make yet another connection to cloud computing in all of this, as everything up to and including the rodents eating in my garden seem to be drivers for cloud computing. However, I think this underscores what we have discussed with our clients that the unpredictability of the future of markets and the economy has never been higher. Ironies in consumer behavior may not be a basis for an I/T infrastructure decision, however the schizophrenic nature of the economic cycle that drives such consumer behavior may be. We stand by our recommendations to our clients – optimize what you know, plan for what you anticipate, and prepare to be wrong. Therefore, make investments that are fluid, that can expand and contract with your infrastructure needs. The great news in all of this is that technology exists today to help you prepare for any economic outcome…and by any historical measure, that is indeed abnormal.

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