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Gartner on IT vs. the economic crisis

ZDNet's Larry Dignan reports from the Gartner Symposium ITxpo in Florida on what the firm's analysts see on the road ahead for corporate IT departments.

The financial markets may be in turmoil, but business goes on. How exactly it's going on is a central theme at the Gartner Symposium ITxpo in Florida this week, as ZDNet Editor in Chief of ZDNet Larry Dignan reports

Analysts have already explained why they think the Internet is radically altering the economics of the media landscape. Now, Gartner's Mark Stahlman and Michael McGuire say in a "maverick" presentation, healthcare and the financial services industry could well be next.

It's a point well taken, Dignan says, but--

It's a bit of a stretch. Both financial services and healthcare are regulated and it's not like some startup can just walk in and blow up business models. Meanwhile, it's unclear whether digital natives can push things along. Those young folks are healthy so they're not looking to change health care per se and they are broke so who cares about financial services...

...The big question is timing-it will take a long time to overcome hurdles. But let's hope financial services and health care gets upended by the Net. Both could use a revolution.

Gartner slide on IT agenda
One thing is certain, ZDNet's Larry Dignan writes: Your CEO's sleepless nights are likely to impact the technology department sooner rather than later. Gartner

Meanwhile, all this panic over the markets could see CEOs freaking out, and technology departments will be whipsawed as they try to keep up with new and occasionally conflicting demands.

(Gartner analyst Jorge) Lopez argues that CIOs have to be ready to "clear the table" of current plans and start over. CIOs will also have to deliver cost savings, lay off folks and cancel projects. These items will be replaced by projects surrounding acquisitions and divestitures and speedier high risk projects.

Not surprisingly, in light of the ongoing economic mess, Gartner has revised its 2009 IT budget predictions, and the picture isn't quite as dire as you may think. Why? IT folks have been through this before, and not so long ago.

For more on the Gartner conference, check out ZDNet's full coverage here.

Click here for ongoing coverage from CNET News, "Tough times for tech"