Global economic crisis not all gloom and doom for IT

CIO Summit 2008 kicks off with an encouraging forecast for IT amidst the global economic downturn.

Tim Dillon, IDC Australia's Associate Vice President of Research

Tim Dillon, IDC Australia's Associate Vice President of Research

"We'll have to get very intelligent about how we handle all this…right now we're struggling, research has shown that organisations waste a little more than one working month a year searching for information," Dillon said.

"We spoke to a thousand-odd organisations and looked at how they handle data, looked at their financials, market shares, performance. The ones that are automated and had an infrastructure - whether it's a UC infrastructure or a data infrastructure or whatever - supporting their business, they actually do better."

IT and business synthesis will also continue to increase in importance, as technology drives business innovation and creates value for organisations. Dillon cited the example of American electrical retailer Costco, whose stores customers could walk into and take a photo of a laptop, send it via MMS to Amazon, and receive the price of the same item in other nearby stores.

"It's about taking the business, the stock inventory, the price, the location and pushing that all together… IT services innovation, it sits across so many aspects of what we do as organisations."

Organisations should also turn to technology to fulfill the retail mantra that the customer is king. Here Dillon pointed to Continental Airlines in the US, whose tracking technologies allow for its frequent flyers to be issued with new check-in and boarding passes mid-flight if they are going to miss a connecting flight.

Reducing costs is still the number one CIO challenge for the future, with IT staff skills development expected to take a much higher role in the near future. The top 5 IT skills in demand, will be networking, ITSM, help desk support, database and enterprise application specialists.

The top four business issues that will take priority in the next 12 months, according to IDC, are: improving infrastructure to increase productivity; improving customer service; introducing new and/or improved products and services at a faster rate; and gaining a better understanding of customer requirements.

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Tags recessionIT spending

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