It is that time of year when analyst groups tell CIOs what New Year’s resolutions they should have made.
Gartner’s ‘must-dos’ will already feature on most IT directors’ lists (although number 10 may have to remain a stealth item):
1. Refresh hardware bought before 2000 and ageing software
2. Continue consolidating IT infrastructure and apps
3. Plan for new competencies and give your most valuable staff an unexpected pay rise
4. Make clear technology choices and set policies for the future
5. Stay in touch with key technology developments
6. Anticipate external drivers of uncertainty and complexity
7. Migrate towards real-time infrastructure
8. Create a business process skills competency centre
9. Build partnership management processes and competencies
10. Plan to overspend your budget.
But the mood in the IT department, says Gartner, will remain subdued. “In 2004, most enterprises expect modest increases in IT budgets, but there will not be a return to previous conditions and structures,” says John Mahoney, research managing vice president. “Business re-alignment and competition will intensify, IT vendor consolidation and restructuring will continue and the credibility of IT will remain fragile among many business executives. CIOs must continue robust management of short-term issues, prepare responses to trend shifts that drive business complexity and uncertainty, and invest for the future. In short, they need to cut costs and innovate simultaneously.”