What will 2002 be remembered for? Life in the aftermath, where protecting the country from terrorism became a permanent condition, not just a Band-Aid? The year of greed and corporate malfeasance? Financial market turmoil? Telecom bankruptcies?
In business technology, it was a year of slashed budgets, fewer R&D dollars, caution and cost containment, more spending on existing systems than new products and technologies, and all-around doing more with less. It was enough to turn any CIO's worry closet into a worry room (no wonder the real-estate market is so strong). Don't worry, this isn't going to be one of those "year in review" columns. Around here, we like to look forward at business and technology priorities for the coming months.
The good news is that optimism is inching up as more companies begin the year with larger IT budgets. Even flat budgets are a positive sign. (There's a saying going around that "flat is the new up" for IT budgets. I'm not making that up. It's kind of like brown was the new black in the fashion world a few years ago.) The majority of the companies we talked with in our annual Outlook survey expect revenue to grow this year, and IT will play a key role in meeting sales goals. That means pragmatic and cautious spending and attention to optimizing existing systems. If all goes well, hopefully we can proclaim 2002 the year before the economic turnaround. All of us at InformationWeek wish you a happy and healthy new year.
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