Most CEOs and businesses will put themselves on a survival path in 2009 while they reinvest for strategic recovery in 2010 and beyond, according to Gartner.
Gartner presented its "10 CIO resolutions for 2009" designed to help CIOs excel and deliver better personal and team outcomes beyond their core IT agenda.
"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. "They face a daunting and uncertain year ahead. Many CIOs have already been instructed to operate with lower budgets and many more expect such instructions. Chief executives need to cut short-term costs very quickly to cope with volatile market sentiment in many industries and countries, but without damaging recovery growth prospects."
"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. "It brings the opportunity for businesses to exploit the technology they currently have to create something new."
To endure an organisation's current strengths and assets it is essential to build an alumni network. Gartner recommends CIOs to maintain legacy skills and complex experienced pools of labour. This could include a semi-official company IT alumni association with its own web page, use of web social networking tools and re-establishing bounty schemes, where staff are paid for recruits they bring in.
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.
"This will create something of a buyers market for some high-calibre IT talent in 2009. However, company recruitment lockdowns will stop CIOs taking advantage if they do not take specific actions," said Raskino.
They should identify the attributes of their absolute ideal candidates for the few, most important mid to senior IT positions to open and fulfil during 2009 and discuss directly with the chief financial officer and chief human resources manager the possibility of holding just a few senior job slots open in return for a higher reduction target elsewhere, Gartnet said.
It added that CIOs need to start visibly using social networks themselves to kick-start their participation from other staff – lurking in quiet observation is not enough.
Gartner advised CIOs to also encourage the leadership team into using social media more openly to communicate internally and externally to rebuild brand confidence, energise the company culture, develop ideas and refine solutions.
Cloud computing is a major new stage in the evolution of commercial IT that CIOs must take seriously but at this stage is confusing. In 10 years, much of IT will be served this way, so CIOs need to start leading their organisations safely in this inevitable direction, or risk being sidelined by its progress.
10 CIO RESOLUTIONS FOR 2009
The Gartner's resolutions are grouped into four strategic themes:
Theme 1: Reinforce enduring strengths and assets
Theme 2: Prepare for the next change, sooner than you think
Theme 3: Survive in 2009 without collateral damage
Theme 4 : Newer technologies to get experience in 2009
To protect the time to stay in touch and get 'hands-on', CIOs must focus on some key technologies in 2009:
Building mini cloud applications
YouTube as a default search engine for a day