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"I think it’s a very positive thing for the IT committee to go to the business and say we’ve had a think about how we might do things differently, here are some proposals."  





CW500: Tom McEwan of PA Consulting on the economic environment for 2012

Computer Weekly
30 January 2012


PA’s Tom McEwan, IT strategy expert, talks about the economic environment for 2012 and how it affects CIOs.

Tom comments on the key economic highlights for the year ahead: “I think the biggest challenge is the current climate of uncertainty - which is set to continue - and how to deal with it.  There are mixed messages in the market. Some technology stocks are doing really well while others are really struggling . There is a collection of winners and losers in the current economic climate. This means that members of the CIO and IT world are going to have to deal with uncertainty for quite some time.”

Tom explains how the CIO becomes a winner in this current environment: “The thing about IT and technology is that we are very much part of the business organisation. What the CIO should do is support the business in being a winner rather than a loser. We conducted a survey, Managing Uncertainty, last year with 200 leaders on how they had dealt with uncertainty since the run on Northern Rock. We looked at who had done better than others and how they had managed their costs during the recessions. There were some that bucked the trend and three things became clear:

“Those that were doing better had made quick decisions and had stuck by them. They were also agile about the way they made those decisions.

“They cut costs but judiciously, and they didn’t just cut costs across the board. So they retained the core business.

“Lastly, and most surprising, was that those who saw it as an opportunity to secure more market share seemed to do much better. They saw it as an opportunity to come out of the recession in much better shape than they went in to it. So, the challenge for IT leaders is to work out how they can support the business in doing those three things very well.”

Tom goes on to comment on what key action IT leaders should put in place immediately: “Look for other opportunities for the business, and where IT and the assets that they have, such as IP, data, infrastructure and know-how can be used in a different way to open up new markets. The business may not have thought about how those things can be used differently. I think it’s a very positive thing for the IT committee to go to the business and say we’ve had a think about how we might do things differently, here are some proposals.”

You can watch the video in full here.

PA’s Managing Uncertainty survey asked more than 200 senior business leaders from across the world how they had responded to the financial crisis and what management strategies had proved most effective. Our analysis establishes which actions added value and which did not. Contact us now or find out more here.

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