As Wells Fargo senior economist Mark Vitner said in a December interview with the Charlotte Business Journal , "The fiscal cliff is the beginning, not the end. Fiscal policy will continue to restrict the economy, and the bite from taxes will continue to get higher and higher as deductions get whittled away over time."
A resolution to the fiscal cliff, if it comes, is by no means the end of the challenging time. The moves you make during this period of uncertainty-investing in certain kinds of staff, shifting services and producing consolidation savings, and identifying new business opportunities within the information you already have-will set you up well for the future as the economy continues to internalize the effects of getting back on a positive track.
4. Big Data Becomes Ever More Important to Tease Out Hidden Opportunities
Your organization has tremendous data sets that grow larger and larger over time. In this body of work there is information on customer purchasing trends, website visits and habits, customer review data and so on.
In an environment where top-line growth is hard to find, CIOs must dig deeper and be even more of an ally to the business. The data analysis tools and frameworks that can tease out the insights within these datasets will all be in high demand in a year that may be starved for demand. In your budget, find room for qualified data scientists. These professionals are the pianists of your business intelligence symphony. Lobby, push and fight to hire the best folks; they will pay for themselves in new opportunities and increased efficiencies.
The bottom line: As a CIO or a member of technical staff, it's important to understand the "macro" picture of the fiscal cliff with the appropriate amount of acknowledgement and respect, but the real key to successfully navigating this challenging time is to continue to invest in making IT less of a cost center and more of a business ally. Keep your options open, do more with less and identify opportunities for the business to grow overall. That's a recipe for success in any environment.