IT directors should streamline existing IT infrastructure ready to exploit opportunities when the economy picks up, according to Gartner.
The analyst's latest survey of businesses across Europe shows that the number planning to rein in IT spending has increased by 10 per cent compared with last year.
But this could be an ideal time for companies to improve their infrastructure, said Gartner's group vice president and head of research, Peter Sondergaard, speaking at the analyst's annual European Symposium ITxpo in France.
He labelled the next 12 to 18 months a 'gap year' where users should avoid investments in hardware unless absolutely necessary.
"Key to this is getting your house in order, and only initiating new projects where new technology can add very clear and measurable financial business benefits," he said. "The number one priority should be to tidy up and lay foundations for the future; to be ready when the tide turns."
Other recommendations include not starting major new initiatives until existing ones have achieved a return on investment, and preparing to start investing again from late 2002 as the market picks up and the hyped technologies mature.
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