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Seven things CIOs should do to calm the CEO

Ian Grant

As the steam evaporates from the economy, market analyst Gartner has identified seven things CIOs should know about panicky CEOs.

They are not as bullish as a year ago. That means IT budgets will be stalled or cut. "Making do with what we have" continues to be the right approach, Gartner says. But this risks losing talented staff to more exciting projects.

Cash is still king. There will be more investment if the IT project improves cash generation and in-flow, says Gartner's Mark Raskino.

Cut costs. Again. CEOs liked the savings delivered by the Draconian cost-cutting of the past two years. Smart CIOs will target at least one major business process to be revolutionised or obliterated in 2011 or 2012, eg scrapping paper invoices for electronic ones.

Get those new products out of development and into the market. "Most CIOs should add e-commerce, e-service, social marketing, smartphone or location-based innovations to bolster new product and service launches," Raskino says.

Bone up on politics and taxes. The bankers' fun and games means complex taxes to recoup bailouts and stimulus packages, and CEOs need to know the inside skinny. CIOs can help by pinpointing key issues, decision makers and options, with that shiny new business intelligence app.

Sustainability is not just about raising prices to limit demand; it's also about finding alternatives. It's everyone's job, especially IT's as an enabler.

Now's your chance for the CEO slot. Raskino says the next generation of CEOs will emerge over the next five years. Boards will be looking for IT-savvy heads with business nous. Sharpen that dagger.


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