Getting Technology Lifecycles in Sync

By Bruce F. Webster Print this article Print

A brief taxonomy of technology lifecycles.

Different technologies age at different rates. Understanding the variations is the first step to managing them.

One of the great challenges you face as an IT manager is selecting the right technology for a given project, for a specific department, or for your organization as a whole.

That technology may be anything from an end-user utility or application, up through programming languages and development tools, to operating systems and middleware, all the way up to organization-spanning database and enterprise resource planning software. 

Each technology is on its own product lifecycle, which may or may not match with your organization’s business and development lifecycles.

In particular, there are certain cycle mismatch patterns that commonly occur in organizations looking to adopt new technologies. I’ve labeled four such mismatch patterns: firefly, underdone, conveyer belt, and landfill. Each is worth examining.

This article was originally published on 2009-03-04
Webster is Principal and Founder at at Bruce F. Webster & Associates LLC. He works with organizations to help them evaluate troubled or failed information technology (IT) projects, or to assess IT systems and products for possible investment/acquisition. He has also worked in several dozen legal cases as a consultant and as a testifying expert, both in the United States and Japan.
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