Technology advisory firm Gartner has come out with four strategic themes for CIOs to help them 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."
According to Gartner, this year, most CEOs and businesses will put themselves on a survival path while they reinvest for strategic recovery in 2010 and beyond. "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."
Here are Gartner's 10 CIO resolutions for 2009:
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. 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.
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. CIOs should design and adopt two or three key behaviours to match the required direction they want their reports to follow such as turning away their option to upgrade to the glitziest new smartphone. Such signals will cause people to comment and think about their own values and behaviours.
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. "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 don't take specific actions," said Raskino. They should use personal networking paths to find out where talent pools are strong. Rather than shutting the door to staffing agencies and head-hunters, CIOs should insist on interacting only with a senior partner to obtain just a few real talent resumes. 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 CFO and chief human resources manager the possibility of holding just a few senior job slots open in return for a higher reduction target elsewhere.