Chief information officers (CIOs) must work closely with other executives to address seven major challenges in 2011, according to a new report from Gartner.
The analyst firm said that business leaders face uncertain times next year, and must defend growth despite falling business and consumer confidence.
Gartner said that fading confidence will manifest itself in a falling off in expansion and investment plans. Companies have rallied their investments post-recession, but this had been too much too soon, and is now fading.
"'Making do with what we have' continues to be the right approach," said Mark Raskino, a vice president and Gartner Fellow.
However, it is important that IT workers communicate their workload priorities and availability, as Gartner warned that if "business initiative owners" delay making a decision on a project they risk losing the IT team's resources to someone else.
CIOs will also be expected to play a role in maintaining internal cash generation, according to Gartner, and should highlight and drive cost-cutting and money-saving IT projects.
"Chief executives will be far more interested in IT project business cases that directly drive cash measures," said Raskino.
"To properly align IT's contribution to the most pressing of current business concerns, CIOs should ensure that the contribution to cash generation and cash flow acceleration is visible among the projects they are pursuing."
Gartner's third point is investing in new cost efficiencies. In the face of cuts to operating costs, CIOs should choose one major business process and revolutionise or obliterate it. One example suggested by Gartner is the removal of paper statements.
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