• United States
Managing Editor, Network World Fusion

Managing priorities

May 15, 20032 mins
Data Center

* Net execs outline their top concerns in a tight economy

“Doing more with less” is probably one of the most popular mantras in business today. Despite the fact that our budgets are flat – if not smaller – and our staffs have shrunk, we’re still expected to deliver the goods. It may not be fair, or easy, but today, that’s just business.

This week’s Management Strategies story in Network World examines a recent survey in which CIOs reveal their top concerns. Not surprisingly, the concept of doing more with less is prominent in the results. The survey, which polled more than 600 CIOs, delivers several unsurprising findings:

* IT budgets are flat.

* Providing guidance to board-level executives and demonstrating the business value of IT are CIOs’ top two concerns this year.

* The average time a CIO spends in his or her position has risen to 36 months, up dramatically from the figure of 18 months just three years ago.

* CIOs worry about providing ongoing applications maintenance with a smaller budget, fearing that neglecting or shorting that in favor of other projects will be detrimental in years to come.

Although CIOs are under pressure now more than ever, many are clinging to principles stated earlier in this newsletter. For one, some operate with a “business-first” attitude. That is, they make sure they understand all aspects of their organization’s business to ensure project selection and rollout gel with business objectives. Sure, a hot, new technology may be fun to play with and a challenge to implement, but how will it further the company’s ability to meet its goals? CIOs are also finding this approach useful in defending and funding their project selection to the powers that be.

Net executives are also finding that educating themselves in all other aspects of the organization and how they contribute to the bottom line – and IT project at hand – is making them more successful in accurately determining the all-important return on investment, as well as ensuring a smooth rollout.

Check out this week’s Management Strategies story in its entirety for more insight from CIOs on the pressure they face and how they cope: