“The unfolding economic crisis of late 2008 has created a more challenging situation than many businesses and most CIOs have ever experienced,” said Mark Raskino, vice president and Fellow at Gartner.
“In time of a recession, organisations have more time for introspection that identifies what the deep needs are and also creates demand on what IT can do,” said John Mahoney, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner.
Gartner’s 10 CIO resolutions for 2009 are grouped into four strategic themes:
Theme 1: Reinforce enduring strengths and assets 1. Start building an alumni network: To maintain legacy skills and complex experienced pools of labour, Gartner recommends CIOs establish alumni networks.
2. Stop being the exception that enforces the rules: In tense times, leading by example matters more than usual – from body language to dress code, and from vocabulary to attention-span.
3. Start scouting for key talent: As large numbers of laid-off people flood the market, some salary-level attrition is inevitable and even good people could find themselves without a position for months.
4. Start preparing for the unexpected: It’s important to challenge and develop the thinking styles and frame of reference of your leadership team as well as yourself.
5. Start using social systems yourself, visibly: Gartner said that CIOs need to start visibly using social networks themselves to kick-start their participation from other staff.
6. Start taking cloud seriously: CIOs need to start leading their organisations safely in this inevitable direction, or risk being sidelined by its progress.
Theme 3: Survive in 2009 without collateral damage 7. Stop ignoring people and opting for soft targets: There will be temptation to cut quickly in areas where staff is working on longer-term goals that suddenly seem of lower relevance.
8. Start offering your vendors a free lunch: CIOs and vendors must give ground and CIOs must signal a reset to a new style of interchange.
9. Stop fearing the future; start driving it: Internally, CIOs should also reflect conspicuous frugality but not be defined by it. They should resolve to occasionally and visibly splash out a little – where it really matters to staff moral such as training courses or software development tools.
Theme 4 and Resolution #10: Newer technologies to get experience of in 2009: With so much work to do, Gartner reminded CIOs that they need to protect the time to stay in touch and get ‘hands-on’ with some key technologies in 2009:
e-book readers Google Chrome Building mini cloud applications YouTube as a default search engine for a day HD teleconferencing
To conclude, Mr Raskino said: “It seems inevitable tough times will hit most sectors at some point in 2009, so CIOs shouldn’t wait for instructions to act. There’s plenty they can do to protect assets and thrive on the change opportunities – but they must start planning their way out right now.”