CIOs need to drop their mentality of “battening down the hatches” and change to one that prepares them to support their company’s growth, according to a Frost & Sullivan executive. “CIOs are cautiously optimistic that the economic downturn is waning, and that conditions will be more favourable for growth over the next six months,” said Craig Baty, global vice-president of IT practice, Frost & Sullivan, who spoke at the analyst firm’s TechStrategies 2009.
Baty was quoting findings from the recently launched Frost & Sullivan IT Decision Maker community survey, based on more than 120 responses of CIOs in Singapore. The report revealed that 28 per cent of the interviewed CIOs thought the unemployment situation will improve while only 18 per cent believed matters would get worse. Meanwhile, 32 per cent thought overall IT spending will increase as opposed to 13 per cent who believed otherwise.
“We thought we would get a typical doom and gloom answer about the economic downturn, but the Singapore CIOs are more positive than expected,” said Baty.
More with less
Another finding from the survey lists out the top five CIO business issues; client acquisition, profit growth, revenue growth, client retention and cost control. Baty commented that the CIOs are mainly focused on customers and costs management.
“So what are you going to do to help the company get more customers and control costs?” asked Baty, on how CIOs have to support their organisations in an impending economic upswing. He added that business plans need to be put in place to cope with increased business growth and demands on IT.
However, CIOs might have to be prepared to do more with less, even during better times. “The economic crisis’ only benefit was that it taught us how to do more with less,” said Baty.
Meanwhile, the responses from the survey unveiled several management issues that CIOs currently face. The top finding is that CIOs are concerned about how their careers are developing. The second is meeting the needs of the business. The next three results indicate these executives are facing challenges to retain, identify and attract technical staff. The results mean that “it is all about your people,” said Baty.
“If you get your people right and you can manage your costs, you should be able to give a better service to your customers, internal or external, and help your organisations grow,” said Baty.
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