Bad Economy Changes Priorities

By Eileen Feretic  |  Posted Monday, September 28, 2009 18:09 PM

By Eileen Feretic

It's a sad commentary on the state of enterprise technology when business productivity and cost reduction beat out both IT and business alignment (No. 2) and business agility and speed to market (No. 3) in a survey of CIOs, CTOs and senior IT executives.

The "2009 IT Industry Trend Survey," which was commissioned by the Society for Information Management (simnet.org), "confirms that the economic downtown has caused a significant shift in priorities," said Jerry Luftman, former vice president of Academic Community Affairs at SIM. "IT executives are focusing on ensuring that business is conducted efficiently to get more mileage out of their budgets."

Efficiency! What about innovation? What about helping to grow the business instead of focusing on getting "more mileage" out of the IT budget?

Yes, admittedly, it's been a tough 18 months. But playing it safe never skyrocketed any company to success.

The rankings of some of the other responses are equally troubling. IT strategic planning is No. 7, revenue-generating IT innovations is No. 8, and security/privacy is No. 9. Perhaps most disturbing is No.10: CIO leadership role.

How can IT executives ever hope to get--and keep--the proverbial "seat at the table" if they place their leadership role so low on their list of priorities? How can they expect the CEO and CFO to take them seriously as corporate leaders?

These priorities have to change--unless IT is content with being viewed as a cost-cutter instead of an innovator and revenue driver.