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IT Leadership // CIO Insights & Innovation
Commentary
8/12/2008
10:12 PM
John Soat
John Soat
Commentary
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Expectation Inflation

One way IT organizations are dealing with the weak economy is by postponing new hires. Does that mean IT projects are not being completed, expectations not being met? Or are current IT employees being asked to pick up the load? Let me guess.

One way IT organizations are dealing with the weak economy is by postponing new hires. Does that mean IT projects are not being completed, expectations not being met? Or are current IT employees being asked to pick up the load? Let me guess.In our most recent State of The Economy Survey of more than 600 business technology professionals (the report based on that survey, "How CIOs Are Dealing With A Tough Economy," can be downloaded here, registration required), of those being asked to cut back on IT spending, here's the breakdown of how they're likely to scale back:

New hires - 72% Infrastructure upgrades - 60% New application development - 46% New outsourcing engagements - 29% End-user technology - 25% Other - 5%

Almost three quarters say they won't make any new hires. Yet less than half (46%) say they'll cut back on new application development. Does that math add up?

The Wall Street Journal has a story about how companies are bundling management responsibilities together into one job, and then offering that position at a lower executive level -- and pay scale. They're also adding on responsibilities to senior management positions:

In other cases, more-senior persons are being hired, only to find that they are charged with handling both their own work and the tasks that once fell to subordinates.

A recent trend in IT management is to add on to the CIO's responsibilities, particularly in regards to managing operations. This is generally viewed as a good thing, in terms of mainstreaming the CIO role and aligning it more closely with the business side of the organization. These are usually portrayed as promotions.

I'm wondering, though, if the same thing is going on outside the CIO role, only it isn't getting the same visibility and isn't necessarily being spun as career advancement. Are technology managers taking up the IT slack, now that new hires are temporarily on hold? Are responsibilities being shuffled, and titles being changed?

What's your experience? Are you being asked to do more now? And are there natural job-related synergies, or is everybody being asked to do everything?

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