I started writing this blog a couple weeks ago…so, now that the market has dropped by 10% it might not look as impressive that I am asking this question. Obviously, we’re all hopeful that the economy can stabilize and all of our budgets don’t get cut for 2012. Unfortunately, that might not be the case.
“More with Less”
If you look at Celent’s CIO study from earlier this year, the major theme was: Business expects more from IT. They reference supporting expanding list of initiatives, prioritizing across business groups, escalation of expectations of IT, and balancing cost reduction/capability creation as key challenges and pressures they’re facing.
In the last downturn, companies settled for budget cuts equating to less productivity. Now, I believe we’ll be challenged to get the same amount done for less budget. So, what can be done?
- Go Agile – if you’re already using an “Agile-like” development methodology, great. Dive in and examine how you manage your priorities, who the impact players are, and which areas of the process are adding most value. Eliminate everything else.
- Get the most out of the tools that are currently available – FAST 8x (http://www.fasttechnology.com/software/8x/) is an example and I’d be remiss if I didn’t promote our own software. With FAST 8x, you can build smaller components to solve targeted business problems at a fraction of the cost, time and risk.
- Avoid big mistakes – Diversify by spreading out your initiatives and deliver value sooner rather than later. Don’t buy that big packaged core system that is going to be a burden on the entire organization, cost too much money, and risk the farm.
- Staff reduction is not a “cure all”. Obviously, eliminating staff and consultants are necessary triggers that can be used to work within a budget cut, but that will most likely compound the problems with the business needing more. In some cases, you might want to cut even deeper to free up cash for tools and the “right people” to help you navigate through these times.
Pressures and challenges could increase. Are you prepared?