Time for revisiting long-term strategies

IT suppliers face tough times for some time to come, to judge from those who pay the wages - corporate IT users.

IT suppliers face tough times for some time to come, to judge from those who pay the wages - corporate IT users.

John Riley

Groundswell

The general mood of about 500 IT directors at the recent Aurora-based IT Directors' Forum was: "steady as she goes".

Usually at conferences one or two burning consensus issues crystallise by the second day. Not this time. The strongest interest was in their own futures - with sessions on headhunting and interim management well attended.

E-business aroused interest, but not passion. Only about 5% had formal e-commerce strategies in their companies, and it's still very early days for B2B e-procurement and e-exchanges.

Even the American-style debate over the role of CTOs, CIOs, CKOs and IT directors wafted past them. Most see themselves with the same title, IT director, this time next year.

Hardly an atmosphere for heavy planning, let alone buying heavily, for those seemingly becalmed in a never-never land between Y2K and the e-business revolution.

Moreover, early findings from our upcoming IT User Spend Survey indicate that the two-year Y2K induced boom which ended last November is truly over. IT spend has resumed mirroring GDP on its downward trajectory.

So no golden harvest for suppliers this summer, or, it seems, this autumn. High time for users to revisit their long-term supplier strategies.

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