Enterprises should cut IT costs now, rather than wait for an official declaration that a recession has begun, Gartner said in a new advisory.
IT departments should not wait for the mandate from management, but should look at create an IT cost-cutting team now, said the analyst firm.
The "best and brightest" IT people should lead IT cost cutting programmes, Gartner said. These "top performers" should focus solely on cutting costs, while other team members take up their day-to-day tasks.
To ensure the programme succeeds, IT will need to work with an auditor from the accounting team and a liaison from the legal department.
"While there have been only two recessions during the past quarter century, there certainly have been many examples where IT cost-cutting efforts had to be undertaken during challenging teams for specific industries and companies," said the missive.
"Whenever we have worked with clients on cost-cutting projects, we have found the best results come from those clients who use their most-experiences and highest-performing IT employees to lead the project," Gartner noted.
"However, because the best and brightest on an IT staff view such cost-cutting projects to be far too onerous and administrative, all too many clients yield to the resistance offered by their 'stars' and instead assign their lesser-performing associates to lead the cost-cutting efforts."
To overcome resistance, businesses should offer a year-end financial bonus based on the amount of money their teams will save.
But internal auditors, not IT professionals, are the best cost-cutting "scorekeepers", according to the analyst firm. Gartner recommends that the accounting team assigns a relatively senior accountant or auditor to ensure any savings identified by the IT cost-cutting team "not only leaves the IT budget, but actually leaves the expense pool of the entire enterprise".
A legal advisor would also be useful to negotiate IT contractual obligations, such as maintenance contracts and penalty clauses.
The research note, called Cost Cutting in IT, will be the first in a series of five advisory research notes published by Gartner in the coming weeks that are focused on maximising IT investments.
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