Seems like a logical-ish simile to describe my workplace so I'll run with it. (Oh and Semper Exploro for the non-Latin speakers: Always Exploring) Just lately Starfleet really have become bunch of numpties in the way they're treating us Ensign's on the front line.
In particular the Fleet Commander is suggesting we have four major starsystems which are key. The Planet Gro-ath, Fluffy-white and The Next Generation DC, The Black Hole Infestation and a Polished Planet which will lead us via exploration, into the 25th Century. The first 2 and possibly the third make some sense while the last one seems like utter toss. I figure that's how he'll justify removing 25% of the academy - but time will tell.
The problem with the approach though is that we constantly get mixed messages. Great job, work harder, you're too expensive, cost reduction, cost reduction, cost reduction, great job, well done, work harder, cost reduction, you're too expensive, ad infinitum....
Whatever happen to valued employees ? In all honesty I'd like to go back to a delivery style role. Afterall I truly am a geek and technology has been my driver since before I can remember. Of course, the issue here is that those roles have been de-valued by the industry and moved off-shore to what is perceived as "cheap labour".
This is a wildly inaccurate assumption on the part of industry leaders for two reasons.
1. They've clearly forgotten that customer satisfaction in technology is key to enabling it's adoption by end-users. i.e. "If someone I know helps me with this piece of cheese moving thats going on (new tech) then I can adapt to it far more quickly and comfortably than if someone from the other side of the planet tries to help me." End users know that local resources understand their personal issue far better than a remote one. Think Global, Act Local... or something-or-other. Isn't that the foundation of being green? Which is better for all of us.
2. The labor isn't cheap. It may appear that way when an offshore resource only want 10p/hour but you still have to setup that resource, train them, provide facilities that didn't exist, power, light, buildings, security, drainage etc etc etc. Once you've done all that and westernised/globalised your cheap labour, they suddenly realise that what they're doing is worth a lot more than you're paying and they jump ship to the opposition. They'll come back if you pay them more. and round and round it goes. The industry winds up chucking more and more money at their off-shore "investment" at the expense of the quality services they already had in place in-country.
In the 90's, Ireland had the world and it's wife knowing on the door because it offered cheap labour. in '08 it was running at -2.3% GDP growth with 64% of it's industry in the service sector. With revenues of $92bn and expenses of $109bn the poor country has been demolished. How can this be good for anyone ?
By comparison, in India GDP growth is running at 6.7% (much healthier.... for now) and only 34% in the service sector (however, this number is from 2003, you can be sure that it's much higher today in 2010). But revenues are at $153bn and expenses at $223bn, so it can't go on like that for long. It's the new Ireland.
In the end I think it's irrelevant. Technology is going to push everything online, and I do mean everything. The geeks will run the data center's and over time these will be consolidated and consolidated until there are just a handful on each landmass of the globe. In a dark future this is exactly what the nanny-state governments will want. Google already track everything you do with them, the ISP's are starting to track what you do and before you know it, a tiny bit of regulation will mean the government have you right where they want you. Of course this is a dark future. In a bright future, we'll all be communicating instantly, be furiously consuming online, we'll all have robots that farm and process our personal stock of food, and we'll finally have flying cars!! WooHoo!..... Why do I think the dark side is a more likely outcome ?
Live long and Propser. The propsering might be tough for a bit ;-)
On a lighter note, last night saw a shufty round the wall-tile section at B&Q (the actual store, not online consuming), a lovely bit of Chilli (from locally farmed beef), episodes 4 and 5 of Five Days and a nicely rounded a reasonably well polished piece of TV Drama it was. Well done Auntie B (even if you are controlled by the government). ;-)
Current read is "The Pyramid" by Henning Mankell
On the tech front: Start saving for 3D TV, Wi-Max does really appear to be dying with Cisco pulling out, when Google loose the power and bye bye Internet Explorer 6