It’s interesting and, I suppose, a bit depressing, the way the conversation at industry gatherings has changed over the last year. It used to be vendors hyping up new products, new buzzwords and new bandwagons. CIOs and other business folk exploring new initiatives and complaining of skills shortage, lack of respect and not enough hours in a day. No matter who is in the conversation these days, what’s replaced the hype and the excitement boils down to a single question: “Is it over yet?”
Nearly everyone is anxious to see the light at the end of the tunnel and nearly everyone is looking to everyone else to predict when the slump will end and investment in IT will return to ‘normal’ levels.
But as market research firm IDC pointed out to us recently at one of our executive breakfasts, there are some pretty compelling historical data that reflect the boom bust cycle of significant industry advances. The pattern we’re in now, primarily the result of Internetworking, is remarkably similar to the scenario that accompanied the introduction of the PC, though this bubble was more overblown and the subsequent deflation, therefore, more severe. But these are short-term anomalies; the overall trend has been a steady and increasing growth in investment in IT, and even the most pessimistic among us are concerned not about if, but when, the trend will resume.
There’s more hype, more buzzwords and bandwagons, and more genuine excitement to come.
Meanwhile, among the good that inevitably comes from these trials is a focus on real customer satisfaction and genuine business value. And in the absence of funding for new initiatives, smart CIOs have focused their attention on reaping all the benefits of past investments in ERP, SCM, etc., and in making their best staff feel valued and appreciated.
And while you’re thinking of ways to boost morale and get some leverage for your budget when things do improve, you might consider putting up one of your successful initiatives for consideration in the next CIO Canada ITX Awards. Past winners have cited easier budget negotiations, greater respect for IT in the organization and improved department morale as benefits resulting from involvement in the ITX Awards.
And the invitation-only Awards ceremony next spring will be a very special affair celebrating CIO Canada’s 10th anniversary.
Deadline for submissions is December 2, 2002.
You can get details and a submission form at www.itxawards.com