These are times that try IT leaders' confidence and spirit.
As the cost of just about everything spirals upward due to both inflation and supply chain shortages, many IT chiefs are taking a second look at projects that not so long ago seemed both necessary and logical.
Yet now may not be the time to panic and abandon carefully planned initiatives, says Emily Lewis-Pinnell, vice president and practice leader for cloud services at NTT Data Services. “The current inflation rate makes it imperative to remain focused on strategic, long-lead projects that will benefit organizations in the long term,” she explains. “In March, we saw inflation rates reach a 40-year high, impacting labor cost across IT -- including offshore -- increasing the value of digital transformation.”
Automation and artificial intelligence investments can help offset inflationary pressure, but as inflation rises, IT leaders will be pressured to slash costs. “Leaders need to have a strong understanding of how technology can impact their goals,” Lewis-Pinnell cautions.
Juan Orlandini, chief architect and distinguished engineer at supply chain software and consulting services provider Insight, predicts that some IT leaders will actually feel increased pressure to accelerate certain project types. IT initiatives that create new revenue streams and/or increase competitive differentiation will likely see acceleration, he says. Maintenance-type projects, on the other hand, will likely face delays or postponements.
Jay Upchurch, CIO at business analytics software firm SAS, reports that he isn't planning to slow down any of his firm's technology initiatives. “Many of our priorities are focused on IT modernization, cloud adoption and IPO readiness,” he explains. “These are critical initiatives for our future success and include business benefits, like labor savings with automation, workload optimization, and streamlining audit and compliance.” Upchurch notes that delaying these projects due to inflation fear will only create higher long-term operational costs.