Effective belt-tightening

In the four years that Information Age has been canvassing the views of its 24,000 readers as part of the Effective IT Survey, the underlying sense has been that “effective” technologies or services are those that grow the business, increase profitability, add competitive edge.

That all changed in the December 2008 survey. Effectiveness now translates into: technologies and services that take costs out of the business, reduce expenditure on IT, provide clearer visibility into business performance and outlook.

Despite the change in sentiment triggered by the economic malaise, there are some constants that shine through in the survey results that feature throughout this issue of Information Age. As much as ever, IT has to be responsive to the ever-changing needs of the business – something that will be even more important as the recession deepens. That shows up in the high scores for effectiveness given to service-oriented architecture, Agile software methods and the creation of business flexibility through storage and server virtualisation.

Flexibility is also highly valued at an employee level, with the adoption of remote/mobile working, videoconferencing and unified communications all ranked as top ten strategies.
The Effective IT Report for 2009 digs deep into the key issues thrown up by those reader responses, with articles that review the state of IT strategy across all core technology and service areas.

In the year ahead, those themes – and evolving new ones – will be highlighted in our new Conference Programme. Kicking off with the Information Age Spring Forum on 30 April, the programme will feature three parallel and complementary conferences: The Future of the Data Centre 2009, Applications Infrastructure  2009, and Hosting, Outsourcing and Managed Services 2009 (see the advert in this issue of the magazine for details).

You should also mark your diary for 8 October when the Autumn Forum will play host to Information Management 2009, Enterprise Security & Continuity 2009 and Communications & Collaboration 2009.

Those are also several of the core business focuses of the Web 2.0 upgrade to our website, Information-age.com, completely redesigned to extend the wealth of news, research and analysis available IT and business leaders.

The broader and deeper multimedia platform features dynamically updated industry focus areas, video content and interviews, webinars and podcasts, and  interactive reader polls and feedback.

It may be an understatement to say that 2009 is going to be a tough year for IT. But anyone with a stake in technology – whether on the business side, within the IT organisation or part of the vendor community – needs to arm themselves with the best information available.

And we hope that through the magazine content, conferences, website and research, Information Age can play a part in informing your decision-making over the year.

David Cliff

David Cliff is managing director of Houghton le Spring-based Gedanken, a company specialising in coaching-based support and personal development. Cliff is an experienced trainer, manager and therapist,...

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