For months, conflicting economic projections, rising gas prices, ripple effects from fallout in the financial sector and other variables have left businesses struggling for answers. Will the economy get worse before it gets better? No one knows.
All the while, CIOs and their teams have been waiting for the axe to fall on their projects, staffs and services contracts. But there appears to be a silver lining. CIO Insight's research reports from this year show that CIOs have managed to steer clear of cutbacks, thanks to their investments in money-saving technologies and their own increasing status within their organizations.
Wise expenditures in consolidation and virtualization are delivering cost savings, which should be making CFOs happy, especially in these turbulent times. The rising price of energy may be a troubling sign for data center operations, but it's delivering a fringe benefit: the expectation of increased mobility, which has increased productivity and enhanced customer service. As CIOs gain more responsibility within their companies, their spending power could easily increase.
But obstacles remain. Even when they haven't faced budget cuts, corporate executives are keeping a close eye on returns from projects and emerging technology investments. Some buzzworthy collaborative technologies haven't proven their mettle in the enterprise, which could force CIOs to curtail future expenditures.
There's no doubt that the optimism expressed by CIOs earlier in the year could quickly turn if the economy continues to lag. In the meantime, as uncertainty looms, IT leaders must focus on what is working now.