How to spend (and not
bust) your 2008 IT budget
WITH UNCERTAIN ECONOMIC TIMES AHEAD,
IT’S IMPORTANT FOR IT DEPARTMENTS TO OPTIMIZE
PROCESSES AND SCRUTINIZE NEW EXPENDITURES
By Karen D. Schwartz
With it budgets re- In addition, companies should solutions for The Clipper Group.
maining essentially prepare to invest in compliance, ana- That means focusing on the
flat for 2008 and un- lytics and master data management overall organizational effective-certain economic while undertaking more collabora- ness of the business and invest-times ahead, it’s more important tive-typeprojects withsuppliers, cus- ing in technology to further that
than ever to make sure you don’t tomers and partners in an attempt to effectiveness.
overspend on IT. increase efficiency, he said. “Develop a prioritized list of
Ray Wang, an analyst what is needed to make
at Forrester Research, your organization work
said economic uncer- better, in business
tainty should change terms, before you talk
the way people think to vendors about what
about IT budgets and they want to sell you,”
projects. McFarland said.
D ur ing economi c “If you get your house
upturns, for example, in order, your business
the business driver for will be in a position
projects tends to focus to avoid the ill-guided
on top-line growth and initiatives that drain
strategic investments. budgets dry and empty
But given the pending promises that drive cus-downturn and increas- tomers and partners to
ing regulatory pressure, look else where,” she
Wang said companies said.
should expect projects One of the most impor-to focus on operational tant, economically friendly
efficiency and compli- and efficient ways of man-ance. Given the market’s uncertainty, aging scarce IT dollars, especially for
“Expect commoditized processes it’s especially important to scruti- smaller businesses, is turning to third-to be [optimized], varying instances nize your upcoming expenses and party application deployment, IT ser-to be consolidated and standardiza- get your priorities in order quickly, vices and maintenance. Using these
tion on middleware platforms,” said Anne McFarland, director of options means less technical knowl-Wang said. data strategies and information edge needed [CONTINUED ON PAGE 33]