Cain is my little work of fiction, but do allow him to represent the modern IT team leader, currently besieged with budget cuts, spending freezes and team member redundancies.
Joe and Cain have different jobs but there are some similarities. For one, they both work on the behind-the-scenes work that integrates homes and offices with regional, national and global facilities.
A lot of people don’t put any thought into what Joe and Cain do until something goes wrong and they are literally engulfed with poo everywhere. Even then, they want it to be fixed right away and complain about the bill.
Cain now has to do more with less – less money, less people. Not only must Cain “keep the lights on,” as we say, meaning all the infrastructure must continue to operate, but also still cater for ongoing business requirements.
Companies may face a winding down in sales, but this doesn’t mean the company will be static: there is still a need to provide greater tools. It makes sense that if a business is performing a lot of project work and presently uses a mishmash of Excel spreadsheets and misfiled electronic whiteboard printouts that they ought to look into more appropriate software. There is a cost to proprietary software, but it would be neglectful of Cain’s duties to remain with the status quo if it is suboptimal.
Of course, even keeping the lights on isn’t what it used to be; you needn’t look far to find hardware vendors who have increased their prices and software vendors who have raised support fees.
Yet, Joe the Plumber moved with the times by changing his business model, and Cain realised it makes sense for him too. Let me tell you what they conceived.