Smart companies will focus on improving processes during slowdown

Software Development Predictions For 2009

McAllister writes, adding that smart companies will realize that ‘process automation is one of the best ways to reduce costs in any business,’ making 2009 the ideal time to ‘revisit old software schemes that got shelved back when staffing budgets w
ere flush.'”

Focusing inward, and paying heavy attention to expenditures, is the right move most of the time, and especially during a pervasive slump. Red Hat, e.g., posted solid Q3 ’08 results based on growing interest in their open source-based infrastructure. Their guidance for Q4 is strong, as well, based on growing customer interest.

Research and writing tools

“Clipping” from sites as you read them – to bolster a point, riff on the news, or to save ideas for later exploration – is incredibly helpful. Bookmarking pages is great; noting the specific parts of the page that caught your interest in the first place is even better.

There are a good number of tools from the basic to the very slick. Microsoft just got back into the clipping game in a big way with Thumbtack. ReadWriteWeb looks at it and some competitors:

Earlier this week, we looked at Qitera, which has a feature set that is quite similar to Thumbtack’s, but while Thumbtack has a more interesting user interface, the actual bookmarking and information retrieval through Qitera is far superior to Microsoft’s product. Thumbtack also lacks any of the social bookmarking aspects that make Twine, Delicious, or Qitera interesting. Not everybody, of course, is interested in sharing bookmarks, and for those users, Thumbtack is definitely worth trying, though currently, we would recommend Qitera, Delicious, or Ma.gnolia, or the Google Notebook, over Thumbtack.

I’ve used Snipd, Clipmarks, PressThis, Sazell as well. I’m writing this post via Deepest Sender which has good clipping / research capabilities, too.

All of them are handy. We’re working on improving the feature set we use most.