While the Federal Government seems to want to act out the final scene from “Thelma and Louise” with our economy, we can’t wait for someone to hit the brakes. Regardless of what the government does (or does not do) in the next few days to avert the fiscal cliff, we do know that taxes will go up on those making at least $400,000, including small businesses. We know this because if the government takes us over the cliff (which, in actuality works well for both parties), the “Bush Era” tax cuts will expire, and they won’t all be coming back. We also know that there will likely be changes to the tax code in the coming months as part of the “fiscal cliff deal”, but there seems to be no consensus on what those changes will be.
So, assuming that is the case, business must still go on. Because of the continuing uncertainty, the likely scenario will be more belt-tightening, fewer hires, and maybe even a few layoffs, depending on how long the government allows this to go on. In the IT world, most organizations have already cut to the bone, and many are unable to keep up with demand as it is, and we all know that demand is likely to increase.
So what can an IT director or CIO do to ensure minimal impact on their organization?
- Increase efficiency – collaboration and better use of time makes the need for overtime hours or more staff unnecessary.
- Re-prioritize – look at what is important rather than merely urgent.
- Find high-value/low-cost services that make it easier for you to make decisions, and faster for your team to get things done
- Structure your financial model to be lower fixed-cost with more variable cost options.
- Get more and better buy-in for projects from the business stakeholders.
As we move into the new year, IT needs to be able to plan for the unknown, be ready for changing demand, and become a more flexible and agile organization.