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August 4, 2008

Reacting to Outlook for IT Budgets in 2009

In the latest edition of CIO there is an article about the outlook for 2009 IT budgets. It forecasts a reduction planned in Consulting services, Third Party contracts, and Hardware purchases. If you think you will be impacted by these cuts then you should plan now to ensure you retain these services in 2009.

I would recommend the following strategies:

- Use your network
- Focus on value
- Look at new opportunities

Use your network

It would be worthwhile to connect with your network contacts who are internal to a company that you plan on providing services to next year. Question them about their needs for next year. Inquire about pressures they have to cut back on their budgets. This simple contact may be enough to keep you on the list for next year but hopefully you are ahead on this strategy and are in tune with what is happening. Communication is a classic strategy for success so don’t underutilize your network.

Focus on value

Did you have a past project that was especially successful? Can you update a study, article, or presentation with new information that validates your past success with current year data? Do you have follow up services that complement this past work? In times of budget cuts and pressures from top management, I can ensure you that IT Managers faced with tough decisions will go with a proven winner.

Look at new opportunities

If you have a proven record at being good at strategy, tactical plans, and implementing change in the past, then you have positioned your future well. Take now as an opportunity to learn the new technical needs of the IT managers. You should position consulting services that support the implementation needs of the IT manager. This will allow the IT managers to focus on the new technology. Also, learn the technology yourself; I have personally seen people be considered an expert after 1 or 2 years because they got in early on a tech trend. Taking on this challenge can broaden you service offering and keep your CV looking current with the major trends.
Whatever you do, take action. The way budget years are set you could miss a service opportunity if you don’t prepare now.

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