Don't Lay Off the Wrong People
by Ericka Chickowski
As layoffs continue in the teeth of recession, CIOs may be hurting their chances for operational efficiency by letting certain people go.
A new report released by Forrester finds that many IT organizations are cutting the very people who offer them the best chance of establishing the most cost-effective IT department. Written by Marc Cecere, "Redesign IT Roles To Drive IT Cost Reduction" singles out a number of roles critical to developing a lean IT department, including architects, IT planners, vendor managers, and relationship managers.
"Ironically, because they're not directly building or maintaining IT systems, people in these roles often find themselves the targets of budget cuts," Cecere says. "These people are more effective when full time in these roles; however, when dedicated to these functions, retaining them is less defensible to people outside the IT shop."
Does this sound like your organization? If so, you might need to rethink your strategy.
According to another report released by Deloitte Consulting, "Resizing Business in a Downturn: Tactical or Structural Cost Reduction," business organizations of every type need to start reevaluating their cost reduction methods. Rather than taking a more short-term tactical approach, organizations need to take a "structural" approach that strategically improves and streamlines the organization so that it is in a position to reduce costs for the long haul.
"A structural approach to cost reduction can better position a company to protect its margins, capture market share, and capitalize on opportunities such as bargain-priced acquisitions," said Omar Aguilar, a principal with Deloitte's Strategy & Operations practice, in a statement about the report. "It can also free up resources to invest in new products and services, marketing and advertising. These activities can help a company survive the downturn and get a jump on competitors when the economy turns around."