Time to Upgrade Your IT Staff?
Our 2009 IT Spending study delves deeply into what IT execs expect to do with their limited budget dollars this year.
With any downturn, fears of big cutbacks always arise. Many of you have already been tasked with trimming the headcount in your IT shop; if you haven't yet, it's likely you'll have to soon.
But the big question is, are you taking this opportunity to actually upgrade--not just downsize--your talent quotient?
Marty Abbott, a principal with AKF Partners and a former CTO at eBay, believes many companies (and their CIOs) are taking the wrong approach.
Despite record IT employment figures coming from the government, there's plenty of available talent out there. But too often in times like these, businesses look to cut salaries and resources without considering the strategic ramifications. In other words, they look to cut, not improve.
"I think they're approaching it the wrong way," Abbott told me recently. "They look at it as a number. They should be saying they have an enormous opportunity to upgrade their staff while downsizing their staff."
Sure there's always a stigma about hiring someone who was recently let go from another company, but this is different. The current economic forces causing big job cuts are completely out of the hands of those left unemployed. In good times, sure, why hire someone who was let go when you can find someone who's kept their job? In this environment, plenty of talented folks are losing their jobs without deserving it.
For Abbott, it all boils down to output per dollar spent. And he says upgrading should always be a concern for CIOs. "They should have been doing it a long time ago," he says. "They shouldn't have needed a recession to do it."
What's your take? Are you being forced to cut headcount without consideration of the talent you'll lose? Or are you actually looking to improve your staff while trimming its size?