I have got to agree with Forester on their perspective on IT in these economic times. They say "execs will clamour more and more for IT projects that reap real value". Absolutely- CIOs need to align their investments with the business needs... and develop metrics that illustrate progress towards this objective.
So let me look at two important investment areas.
The network. Sure it's critical for the business to have one that is not a bottleneck to running the business. But how is it beneficial to the business to spend twice as much as you need to by relying on one dominant vendor, or spending 65% more on power. Nortel data networks not only have a lower TCO and energy needs, but also deliver 20x the performance and 7x the reliability.
So the business objective you are delivering is freeing up critical resources to really move the business forward.
Having freed up resources (money and people), where should you invest?
Process Acceleration. There are of course many areas, but one that is receiving a lot of attention is UC- not just in improving personal productivity ( a poor business case in most cases) but in optimizing business processes. Accelerating approval processes, patient discharge times and problem resolution can reap real business value, while enhanced collaboration tools can immediately reduce travel costs.
So set aside talk of Recessions and take action to convert your IT investments into ROI.