Gartner: No sympathy for CIOs in double-dip recession
Memories of the recent global economic meltdown and the ever-present bane of sinking advertising revenue may haunt the publishing industry, but according to a new report by Gartner, it's time for CIOs to capitalize on their battle-scarred experience. Clear and decisive measures undertaken now are the best way to avert disaster if the economy were to plummet once more, the information technology research company's analysts say in a new report, "Plan for a Second Recession, Now."
"Just the potential for a second business downturn should be sufficient to compel CIOs to plan for another business downturn," said Ken McGee, vice president and Gartner fellow in a company press release. "However, most CIOs will not have a response strategy prepared if a second business downturn occurs."
Given that CIOs today are uniquely positioned to deal with a recession -- more than 90 percent possess recent and practical experience courtesy of the 2008 downturn -- it is imperative that they leverage this experience by proactively readying their entire enterprise to weather any potential financial storms within the next year.
Key measures identified in the study include:
- Enlist C-Level Action Now: Rather than waiting for an official national recession declaration - which often comes too late - IT leaders should urge enterprise executives to convene now to establish response guidelines. In the wake of bad economic news, the company will be ready to handle customers, suppliers and creditors without scrambling.
- Focus on the Current Fiscal Year... and leap ahead to the Next: CIOs should examine projects scheduled and approved under the current IT budget to determine which could be postponed or entirely canceled while simultaneously identifying and determining which projects for 2011 are also relatively expendable.
- Zero-Based Budgeting is Key: In preparing 2011 budgets, zero-based budgeting must be utilized. All business unit executives should affirm complete understanding of the one-time costs incurred to implement new projects in 2011 along with the annual recurring costs for maintenance going forward. At the same time, zero-based budgeting should be applied to the inventory of existing applications.
"Our bottom-line advice is to prepare the 'second recession' plan, rehearse the 'second recession' plan and hope that you never have to use the 'second recession' plan," said McGee.