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>Sometimes the decision gets made on a golf course and not after reading very long texts.

This is why I swore to only write software at software companies some years ago. For other industries software is just another expense like buildings or supplies. The people buying it have no idea what they're looking at so they buy the shiny thing that everyone else is buying.

When I worked in other sectors I regularly saw executives attempt to assemble software as if it was a large building. Materials were gathered, agreements were made to purchase or rent heavy equipment, and the whole project was planned out with exacting detail. When all the permits and contracts were in place construction would begin. This was to be done in a measured amount of code using the chosen architecture, and delivered complete on a certain date. Any deviations were seen as workarounds for not following the original plans, and overruns the result of incompetence. The whole thing was just a shitshow of incompetence at the higher levels.




You're correct that non-software companies will simply outsource but not quite correct that it must be closed source - software is simply something they don't have much expertise in and never will. The problems only show up when software becomes such an integral part of business operations that you really do need to actually do well at software or risk a lot of business. The reason that it tends to be closed source companies is that most of the relationships that the non-software companies have is when open source was really not very viable of a foundation for one's software.

Demanding and exercising the use of a throat to choke is a massive, massive part of how at least American business works due to prevailing leadership styles as well. It also shows how they tend to view their workers as well. "Blameless culture" is something that is a tiny, tiny minority that only seems to have worked out well among socialist-ish boutique software companies and until we start seeing companies that practice traditional Taylorist and authoritarian leader worship cultures fail very disproportionately, nothing will fundamentally change.


I think that is another reason why some companies outsource all aspects of IT, so they can blame someone. Who cares if it takes 10x the time compared to having the skillset in house when you can just point at the 3rd party and blame them. Doesn't matter if it is the same person selecting all the 3rd party providers who continually are horrible at their jobs, we are saving money!


I guess I already covered that in the culture of desiring parties to choke. Whether it's a vendor or your own employees, leaders that rule by fear like to find scapegoats to shift blame away from themselves and take credit for others' efforts. The people that know better are effectively kept away from any form of power or under-resourced, so they'll always be too small to succeed.

I'm familiar with a number of very large deals done basically between C-level to C-level where the scope of IT projects has nothing to do with technologies but entire about cost savings - literally "I will save you $n MM / yr in opex so you can get your bonuses" and other vendors get shut out. Sometimes these deals work out, other times they don't and the executive is basically ousted. Companies with bad politics and enormous cronyism may have worked fine for decades, but they just may not be doing as well anymore unless you're on Wall Street and you make so much money it doesn't matter how it's done.


well, yeah, obviously.

Software is not the end-goal itself. The point is not to make (or use) amazingly elegant software. The point is to make money.

If a supplier says "I will provide the same service as you are currently getting and cost you $X less" then that's a no-brainer regardless of what service they're providing. It's got nothing to do with technology, and technology doesn't change the nature of that decision.

"Having a throat to choke" is also a matter of insurance. You can't insure against your own incompetence, but you can sue a supplier for not fulfilling the terms of their contract. Executives would much rather negotiate what they think is a tough contract with a supplier than manage a complex project themselves. To that mindset, the removal of risk (because if anything goes wrong they can sue the supplier) is a huge bonus.

It's a totally different mindset from those of us who actually make things.


Nobody ever got fired by hiring IBM mindset I guess...


It's worse than that. You're not just choosing a reliable solution, or even a solution with a conservative reputation so that your butt is covered. You're choosing a solution which may actually be worse because when you fail to deliver for someone else, you have someone to scapegoat. If there is nobody else to blame, you might take the blame for having chosen open source with no specific party to blame (the hot potato stopped with you).


Is that not just plan driven development? (I.e. waterfall)




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