Just about every CIO survived 2009 by cutting costs to make IT more efficient. However, to remain competitive in 2010, enterprises will need more than just cost cutting to survive.
This is the view of Professor Pete Janse van Vuuren, executive partner at research firm Gartner. Janse van Vuuren will deliver a presentation entitled “Meeting the challenges of doing more with less: the 2010 CIO agenda”, at the upcoming ITWeb Doing More with Less event. The event will be held on 9 March at The Forum in Bryanston, Johannesburg.
Janse van Vuuren explains that the recession brought IT budgets down to 2004 levels; and while IT budgets have stabilised, they will stay flat at 2004 levels for most of the remainder of the year. This transition, he argues, gives the enterprise and IT the opportunity to reposition themselves and exploit the tough corrective actions taken during the recession.
“CIOs expect IT to shift its focus from cost and consolidation to innovation and competitive advantage. They have aspired to this shift for years, but economic, strategic, and technological changes have only recently made it realistic,” opines Janse van Vuuren.
According to Janse van Vuuren, the 2010 CIO Agenda highlights business priorities and CIO strategies. “The economic transition places a premium on productivity versus another round of cost cutting. This will require CIOs to respond to immediate needs that are similar to those in 2009, but with a different solution,” he explains.
“CIOs see this as an opportunity to reposition IT in the enterprise as more innovative and supporting competitive advantage. They will need to consider advent of new, lighter-weight technologies,” he continues.
Cloud computing, virtualisation, and Web 2.0 are lighter-weight technologies, explains Janse van Vuuren, because they entail reduced upfront costs, increased capacity, and variable cost structures. “In addition, these technologies require limited support resources, giving them an asymmetrical benefits profile whereby relatively small investments generate significant business benefits at speed.”
Productivity is the key concern for CIOs in 2010. 'Without productivity gains, the enterprise will be unable to act as the economy improves. CIOs will find their IT resources tied up in supporting yesterday's operations rather than freed up to create the new solutions and services necessary to reposition IT,” warns Janse van Vuuren.