OR . . . Deja Vue all over again!

If you’re a veteran IT manager what did you do to weather the last economic downturn?

  • trim staffing levels?
  • postpone new projects?
  • postpone upgrades (hardware, software, infrastructure)?

Will you do the same things again this time? Maybe you shouldn’t! Why? When budgets improved did you find yourself undernourished and struggling to get back to the levels you were at before the big hit?

Maybe you should take a different approach this time. Take a tip from your business colleagues. . .

  • use the downtime to retool,
  • look at new technologies and approaches that will give you a competitive advantage when the money starts flowing again,
  • change your operations and business model not just to survive but to grow,
  • focus on services and technologies which give true business value and eliminate the trash.

After spending yesterday reading and listening to Gartner’s ITExpo (October 12 – 16) coverage it struck me that they may have some good advice. They are suggesting that now is the time to ‘invest’ in technology versus the knee jerk reaction of just ‘cutting costs’. The stock market experts are recommending that now is the time to start some serious buying rather than wait until the stocks start their upward trend. When everyone is doing it – it’s too late. Warren Buffet has been quoted as saying,

“We simply attempt to be fearful when others are greedy and to be greedy only when others are fearful.” (Warren Buffet)

Now is the time for IT managers to get greedy and take advantage of the situation, not just be victimized by it.

Some good tips from across the web:

  • Focus on what’s important, not just now but in the near future for when the economy starts growing again – use this opportunity to eliminate the legacy technologies and systems that are consuming 80%-95% of your budget. When the sun starts shining again, you’ll have the cash to spend on ‘new’ things.
  • Listen to the people in your organization (IT and business folks) on how to save money and still deliver services.
  • Investigate and pilot new and emerging technologies such as cloud computing, social networking, virtualization at the server and desktop.
  • Look to outsourcing (versus out-tasking) some of your operations. This allows you flexibility in cost control.
  • Look to moving more of your operation from Capital Expenditures to Operational Expenditures.
  • Look to consumer technologies (lower costs, wider availability, broader knowledge base among users) to drive down costs.

And the number one piece of advice?

Use this as an opportunity to change how you do business. Abandon status quo. During times of turmoil and change there are winners and losers. Use the upcoming turmoil to show true leadership and become a winner.

Dean

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