2009 IT lessons: How did the recession change your IT organization?

I can’t believe it’s already February (and thank goodness: I wouldn’t have been able to wait much longer for “Lost” to return!). Here at SearchCIO.com, even though a full month of 2010 is behind us, we’re still sorting through and reviewing 2009 IT lessons — “recession lessons,” if you will. This month’s CIO Briefing was a roundup of the results from our CIO and IT salaries and careers survey conducted in late 2009. I also put together a quiz to see if you’ve been paying attention to our recent coverage of technology-related recession lessons from 2009.

Why the long look back? I hate to be trite, but if you don’t learn history you’re doomed to repeat it — yes, CIOs, that includes you. A lot of desperate measures — or at least, that’s how they were viewed at the time — were put into place in IT organizations in the past year and a half. These included reduced IT staffing levels, an increased emphasis on business process management — you don’t need me to tell you, because you’re probably the one who had to make these difficult management decisions. I think we’re all looking forward to the day — maybe it will come later this year? — when IT budgets will loosen once again, allowing for the rededication of resources to IT, which can help move the entire business forward.

But if you enterprise CIOs go back to the old way of doing things once your budget dollars start trickling back, be warned that you’ll most likely be falling behind your peers. That’s because 2009 IT lessons will play a key role in dictating the future of IT.

The IT organization will always be charged with examining and implementing emerging technologies, but we’ve got to accomplish those “keeping the lights on” tasks quickly and efficiently, too. In all likelihood, business process automation will explode over the next few years as IT organizations find a cheaper way to complete this repetitive work. Business intelligence tools and dashboards will also be huge, as enterprise CIOs must keep track of an ever-widening playing field. IT outsourcing, which I covered quite a bit over the past year, will certainly make up a piece of the pie in replacing IT staffing without the salary commitments of the past.

What 2009 IT lessons are you carrying into your IT plans for 2010 — and beyond? Sound off below!

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