executive corner | Tip and Strategies for Managers
Working with IT to grow
By John F. Hill
he current economic climate is causing execu- desktops, and they have the additional “soft” ben-
tives in just about every organization to take eﬁts of offering solutions for remote access, better
a hard look at spending, strategy, and how to physical security, and compliance fulﬁllment, ac-
weather the storm. cording to research by the Gartner Group.
This leaves decision makers in a tough spot. On Another way to make smart IT decisions is to ﬁrst
one hand, they are pushed to identify spending ar- consider all the legacy software and hardware that
version, go to
@ eas and immediately cut costs that are not deemed
mission-critical for the business. On the other hand,
has built up over time. Often, these legacy systems
remain intact because people are not sure exactly
EC_Apr09. cutting back in certain areas may jeopardize the what they do and fear that turning them off will
company’s readiness to thrive when the market im- have negative ramiﬁcations.
proves. Doing nothing in the face of this economic One of the most valuable things you can do is
downturn is a recipe for failure. As with most times to commission a rigorous inventory and review of
of challenge, it is essential to actively reduce costs your IT environment, with the goal of eliminating
while also identifying opportunities that can have a old and marginal hardware and software that no
positive impact on the business. longer adds business value.
Information technology tends to be one of the
larger spend areas in most organizations, which Growth through teamwork
means chief information ofﬁcers and chief technol- Technology is not the only aspect that organiza-
ogy ofﬁcers may ﬁnd themselves having to defend tions should consider when trying to grow in today’s
projects and/or make difﬁcult choices. economy. Business processes represent another area
How can IT leaders support their business in a ripe for examination.
way that improves the organization’s ability to be Thoughtful investments in operations, espe-
responsive to the current fundamental economic cially with an idea to rapid returns, can in fact