July 9, 2010 - Doubts about the health of the global economy persist, and although most CIOs were forgiven in 2008 for being unprepared to deal with the global recession, they are unlikely to experience the same if they’re unprepared a second time, according to Gartner, Inc.

Many economists are still maintaining that 2010 and beyond will be a period of modest recovery and growth. However, an array of factors including the possibility of nations defaulting on repaying huge loans, high unemployment rates, depressed housing prices, limited access to consumer and business credit and a growing belief that a sustained economic recovery may not be possible this year have shaken investor confidence in recent months.

"Just the potential for a second business downturn should be sufficient to compel CIOs to plan for another business downturn," Ken McGee, vice president and Gartner fellow, was quoted to say. McGee believes that currently most CIOs do not have a response strategy prepared if a second downturn were to occur in the next 12 to 18 months, but they must plan accordingly.

Gartner recommends that CIOs enlist C-level executive participation now so the plan can be established and approved in advance. Also, CIOs must determine which IT projects for 2010 and 2011 may be postponed or canceled should business conditions warrant. Also, CIOs should use zero-based budgeting for all projects and existing applications, including full understanding of one-time and ongoing costs on all implementations.

Additional detail is available in the Gartner report "Plan for a Second Recession, Now."

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