Infrastructure // PC & Servers
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2/26/2008
01:21 PM
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If We're Headed Into A Recession, What Will Happen To IT?

IT budgets and tech staffs were clobbered during the recession of the early 2000s. But how would they survive this time around? Hasn't most of the "fat" already been slashed, or has much of it returned?

IT budgets and tech staffs were clobbered during the recession of the early 2000s. But how would they survive this time around? Hasn't most of the "fat" already been slashed, or has much of it returned?Economists say the last recession started in late 2000 and lasted into 2003, although some people argue that the aftereffects lingered much longer -- and perhaps still do now. Doing more with less seems to be a lasting mantra at many companies, whether it comes to staffing (tech and nontech) or the deployment of new technologies (like virtualization.)

But as Jack Harrington, principal and co-founder of IT staffing firm Atlantic Associates in Boston, pointed out during an InformationWeek interview, the last recession also was an unique yet "perfect storm" for an IT whacking.

Companies were still digesting bloated Y2K remediation spending, the dot-com bubble was bursting, and everyone was still shaking from the shock of 9/11. "Although there's been some gains in IT spending since then, it hasn't been a lot" year to year, says Harrington. Certainly not an excess where companies can easily slash and burn lots of projects, he says.

Where do you think your company would cut IT if it faced budget pressure in coming months? What staff would be most vulnerable? And if you're one of the people worried about becoming a casualty, what's your plan for surviving?

Add your comments below to let us know what you think. And if you're willing to further discuss your observations and thoughts with an InformationWeek reporter, please e-mail me directly at mmcgee@cmp.com. Thanks.

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