Canadian CIOs more likely to focus on long-term strategies for economic
VANCOUVER, Feb. 10 /CNW/ - A survey of European and Canadian CIOs
conducted jointly by the CIO Association of Canada and EuroCIO, has revealed
some significant differences in business response to the economic downturn.
Dr. Catherine Aczel Boivie, Director of Strategic Partnerships and founding
president of the CIO Association of Canada, and CEO of Inventure Solutions,
has just published an article summarizing the results. (See the article at
Eighty percent (80%) of the EuroCIOs expect an IT budget reduction
compared to just over 50% of the responding Canadian CIOs, but where Canadian
cuts occur, they are expected to be deeper (12% vs. 8%). Budget cuts will be
achieved through various methods: hiring freeze; postponed investment; more
disciplined review of all discretionary expenses; reductions in consulting
fees; and possible lay-offs. All CIOs anticipated that approval of multi-year
projects will be more difficult, but while European CIOs will be focusing on
putting forward projects that show a positive ROI within 12 months, Canadian
CIOs are more likely to be looking at long-term strategy, and the
opportunities that the economic downturn affords for explosive recovery.
Differences also show up in expected changes to outsourcing (Europeans
predict more - justified as an internal cost-cutting strategy; Canadians
expect less - outsourcers risks would be added to company risks).
"CIOs on both continents agree that the need for continued innovation in
IT is critical to both the short-term and long-term health of their
companies", says Dr. Boivie. "In Canada, CIOs are now accepted members of
executive strategy teams. In the short term we'll be seeing actions that
employ IT resources to bring quick gains to mitigate the effects of the
recession. But we'll also be seeing a continued focus on the long-term - we
all acknowledge that the future of Canada's economy depends on it."
Later this month, the CIO Association will host a series of small
e-forums on CIO Strategies during the downturn. Dates are February 12, 20 and
24th. Attendance is free for members and their invited guests.
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