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CIO’s Guide to Surviving a Recession


Concerns about a recession have mounted in recent months. Even if it’s not imminent ⁠— Bloomberg recently projected a 27% chance of a recession in the next 12 months ⁠— information technology leaders can take steps to prepare regardless.

Recessions challenge enterprises, leaders, and employees, and nowhere can that pressure be more intense than in an IT organization. CIOs face pressure not only to support the company’s plans and goals but also to ensure their IT organizations function properly, even in the face of a recession. 

IT systems are more critical today than ever before. They effectively run revenue generation activities, produce required financial and compliance reports, and automate manual tasks to increase efficiency and save money. Hardware, software, and other IT resources power the work of just about every employee, and CIOs are at the core of technology implementations and strategy during a recession.

In this guide to surviving a recession, CIOs can begin to implement a game plan now to weather a slowdown whenever it might occur.

Get Ahead: Build Communication Pathways

CIOs should be proactive by devising a plan before a recession begins. Start by standardizing procedures for each department. Steps could include, for example, identifying alternative solutions in high-cost areas to free up cash flow, procedures to take on-shore activities off-shore, and processes for deprovisioning IT solutions and technology that aren’t needed anymore but cost real dollars.

This way, you can communicate to your peers that you can help them execute their plans — a key exercise in trust-building and creating camaraderie — and be ready if the time comes.

In examining how companies fared after the Great Recession, research company Gartner found various strategies that helped companies outperform their peers and continue to succeed afterward, including advance preparation.

The company advised: “(N)either a ‘wait-and-see’ approach nor defensive cost-cutting will power you through adversity — not least because today’s current state of uncertainty won’t magically disappear. There is little clarity on a range of economic, regulatory, geopolitical and trade issues, and digital disruption has anyway made widespread and multidimensional uncertainty the new normal. (Read more…)

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