• United States
Contributing Writer

Are we there yet?

Mar 03, 20043 mins
Enterprise Applications

* The IT turnaround: We may not be there yet but we're headed the right direction

Who hasn’t been on a car ride – that probably seems interminable – when from the backseat someone pipes up, “Are we there yet?” You glance in the rearview mirror, smile politely, grit your teeth and say, “Nope, not yet.”

The IT turnaround is beginning to take on a similar look and feel. I can’t tell you how many people, upon hearing that I write for a high-tech magazine immediately ask “Are we there yet?” I think the more important question is, “Are we headed in the right direction?” To that, I could answer without any reservations, “You betcha.”

From what I’m hearing from attendees of our Technology Tours and folks that attended our recent DEMO conference, the sticks are rubbing together and a spark is trying to emerge (how’s that for an analogy).

But what about you? Are you seeing signs of a return to normalcy? Are you still seeing obstacles to rolling out new technologies? Or has the boardroom eased up a bit on your budgets?

From the folks I’ve talked to, there is a slight loosening of the purse strings, but not much. However, they attribute this more to the fact that companies have become accustomed to IT organizations functioning in lean mode and are not anxious to have them bloat out. They don’t want the bottom line growing – even if there is cautious optimism.

So how do you combat this? How do you express that you need a little bit more rein to grow your organization? What strategies do you use to show that you need to spend a bit more to make improvements that have been languishing over the past few years?

Who is your best ally in this fight? Are the business unit managers clamoring for extensions to applications that would make them more productive? Are remote workers asking for infrastructure improvements for better access to applications? Are members of the boardroom looking for improved back-up and recovery procedures?

What about the CFO? Have you been meeting with your financial guru to figure out where the money could come from? Or do you need to find backing before you approach him or her? Have you started to pull back on other projects so that you can finally roll out something new?

Your strategies could help your peers as they start this road… and your answers could help them answer that ubiquitous “Are we there yet?” Send your strategies to me at and I’ll put together a best practices list.