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Shutting down redundant legacy systems, making preparations for consolidation among IT suppliers and taking steps to raise IT's credibility within the organisation should be priorities, the research firm suggested.
"If you sit back and focus merely on cutting costs and beating up suppliers, you are not helping the business," said Mark Raskino, research director at Gartner. "A downturn is often a good time to iron out inefficient practices."
Raskino said IT departments should aim to switch off at least 10 % of systems that have a low impact on business.
"Most organisations have a portfolio of legacy systems - systems that exist in some parts of the business that have resisted change," he said. "Shutting these down will save money and time, show that you are looking more broadly at the business and free up money to invest in new projects."
Gartner vice-president John Mahoney warned IT directors to be ready for supplier consolidation during 2003. He said most technology sectors will experience consolidation and advised IT directors to ensure their contracts flexible enough to cope with the turbulent times ahead.
"Understand your contract and what happens when supplier consolidate or cease trading and make sure you have effective escrow arrangements," Mahoney said.
Mahoney also suggested IT directors should spend the next 12 months promoting IT throughout the rest of the enterprise. "The credibility of IT has been damaged of late, but if enterprises don't take seriously the opportunities and threats offered by IT, they risk damaging the organisation."
Must-do resolutions for CIOs in 2003
- Switch off at least 10 % of legacy systems in 2003
- Prepare for some of your IT suppliers to consolidate or cease trading
- Create an IS marketing initiative
- Create a real-time enterprise (RTE) vision and roadmap - sell it to the leadership team
- Pilot two key RTE technologies - Web services and Instant Messaging
- Set a timetable for renegotiating supplier contracts
- Establish leadership coaching and mentoring for CIOs and IS leaders
- Revise retention and recruitment strategies for key skills
- Understand and prepare for the impact of offshore outsourcing
- Prepare to implement simultaneous security and transparency
Source Gartner - Dec 2002
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