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CIOs should plan for a second recession, Gartner says

By Mitch Betts
July 26, 2010 06:00 AM ET

Computerworld - Recent news headlines -- like "Fed Paints Weaker Picture of Growth and Employment" and "Retail Sales Decrease as Recovery Cools" -- suggest that the fledgling economic recovery may be stalling.

What if the economy is headed toward a double-dip recession? According to the big thinkers at Gartner Inc., CIOs should be preparing for that distressing scenario -- just in case.

"In 2008, most CIOs were forgiven for being unprepared to deal with the global recession, but if another recession unfolds in the next 12 to 18 months, no CIO will be forgiven for being unprepared a second time," Gartner said in a statement earlier this month.

Ken McGee, a Gartner fellow, said CIOs should work with other business execs to develop a list of IT projects that could be postponed or canceled if necessary, and use zero-based budgeting. But McGee said he doubts most CIOs will really follow that advice.

Separately, Gartner trimmed its forecast for worldwide IT spending this year.

In March, Gartner predicted a growth rate of 5.3% over 2009 spending, but in June the firm cut that figure to 3.9%. "The European sovereign debt crisis is having an impact on the outlook for IT spending," said analyst Richard Gordon.

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