Gartner: IT managers should use Xbox

Staying up to date with technology should be a key part of IT strategy for 2006, Gartner tells CIOs.
Written by Andrew Donoghue, Contributor

Staying up to date with technology should be a key part of companies' IT strategy for 2006, which means shelling out new consoles and head-mounted displays, according to analyst group Gartner.

Gartner has revealed the top 10 must-dos for IT managers in 2006, and along with the usual advice, such as working closer with the finance department, are other tips including exploring emerging technologies such as game consoles.

Released on Thursday, Gartner's "CIO Resolutions for 2006" are 10 guidelines designed to help IT managers plan their strategy for the next 12 months. The group claims that 2006 will be a "paradoxical year," because even though there will be a surge in technology innovation, the economic outlook is "unpredictable."

"In 2006, business and their IT organizations will be caught between opposing forces. An unpredictable economy and declining business confidence will combine with a surge in innovation as markets begin to embrace emerging technologies," said Mark Raskino, a Gartner research fellow. "To get through this confusing and unstable period, IT leaders must drive their organizations with one foot on the accelerator and the other hovering over the break."

Gartner's CIO Resolutions for 2006
1. Educate your business about the second Internet revolution (before someone else does).
2. Set some "do not migrate" orders in advance.
3. Target 2008 for major innovation delivery.
4. Get yourself and your team ready for your next jobs.
5. Start a significant "software as a service" implementation as a trial and education.
6. Organize your merger and acquisition capability.
7. Revisit capitalization with your chief financial officer.
8. Build your brand and your team.
9. Refresh your meetings with the chief executive.
10. Check out some 2006 "hot" technologies.

One unusual tactic proposed by Gartner is that IT managers should look to expand their technical horizons by exploring technologies that they may not have considered as business related. The analyst group says technology professionals should see, touch and use at least three of the following in 2006:

1. Web based micro-applications such as Writely.com or Num Sum;
2. Flickr;
3. A new generation of consoles such as Nintendo Revolution or Xbox 360;
4. A head-mounted display;
5. Google Earth;
5. An in-house pilot of consumer technology such as podcasting a company communication.

"Those who don't use the resolutions to get themselves and their organizations in good shape may find 2007 an unpleasant white-knuckle ride," said Gartner chief of research John Mahoney.

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