Gartner Research

The CIO Challenge: Transforming Adversity Into Advantage

Published: 01 July 2009

ID: G00169511

Analyst(s): Heather Colella , Diane Berry


Leading enterprises view difficult economic times as an opportunity to pull ahead of the pack. The CIO can play an integral role by managing business fundamentals, looking for growth opportunities, focusing on results and adapting to changing market demands

Table Of Contents


Executive summary

  • Manage business fundamentals and look for growth opportunities
  • Stay relentlessly focused on desired outcomes
  • Continually refocus how you manage your business

Manage business fundamentals and look for growth opportunities

  • Effective enterprises use their cash position to advantage in times of adversity
  • Dashboards and leading indicators guide proactive responses
  • Scenario planning helps companies respond to market volatility
  • Re-evaluate your business model—With a competitive eye

Stay relentlessly focused on desired outcomes

  • Optimize financial results through cost optimization
  • Leverage existing assets
  • Accelerate strategic plans

Continually refocus how you manage your business

  • Continue to proactively manage business fundamentals
  • Kick it up a notch by proactively managing profitability
  • Teaming in times of adversity—And beyond
  • Stay focused and be bold

Appendix: Case Studies

  • Case Study: American Institute of Architects—Challenging your business model
  • Case Study: Construtora Norberto Odebrecht—Entrepreneurial culture powers decision making and creates opportunities
  • Case Study: Excellus BlueCross BlueShield—Improving service levels while driving efficiencies
  • Case Study: First American—Swift action in 2008 avoids drastic cuts in 2009
  • Case Study: GlobalResourceCo—Focus begins by balancing the portfolio of global commodities
  • Case Study: RSM McGladrey—Refocusing efforts around the client
  • Case Study: Sharp HealthCare—Responding with speed, creativity and innovation
  • Case Study: Shepherd Partners—The keys to crisis management: Liquidity, perception of the enterprise in the marketplace and effective leadership
  • Case Study: State of New York—Collaborating to accomplish the mission of helping citizens and reducing costs

Further Reading

  • Gartner Executive Programs reports
  • Core research
  • Articles
  • Book

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