CIOs can play key role in tackling downturn, says Boston Consulting


CIOs can play key role in tackling downturn, says Boston Consulting

Antony Savvas

The chief information officer is in a prime position to help their firm beat the downturn, says the Boston Consulting Group.

In 2009, Boston expects global growth in IT spending to be "1% at best", down from more than 5% in 2008. "But many companies will cut their IT budgets, and available discretionary spending will shrink significantly", Boston said.

Boston said, "For all the gloom, we think that the downturn presents a significant opportunity for CIOs and the IT function. Technology is at the heart of many industries and has become a key driver of business transformation. The CIO and the IT leadership team can, and should be encouraged to, play an instrumental role in navigating the business through the downturn."

It said IT can be a key driver of change and can even help the company emerge from the recession stronger than before.

Boston said there are five action areas that CIOs should focus on:

  • Reducing IT costs in the short term
  • Optimising investments to create short- and medium-term business value Managing the human resources agenda
  • Enabling business transformation
  • Transforming the IT function itself

Boston also proposes an approach to develop a downturn action plan, including a Plan B.

Plan A is a systematic action plan and should focus on the following three steps:

  1. Identify opportunity areas and quick wins
  2. Develop action plans for all five action areas
  3. Prepare for the implementation of the overall downturn action plan

Plan B is a list of activities that should be drawn up and which can be implemented if "things get really bad".

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