Last week I joined a few other Italian Gartner analysts for an Italy-only event where we addressed an audience of over 300 people with some of the key messages from Gartner research. At the end of the usual analyst keynote I was asked to talk for about ten minutes about the euro crisis.
At the beginning of my section I asked anybody working for a company that has either developed or is about to develop IT plans to deal with the euro crisis to raise their hands. When I asked the very same question at the European CIO forum in London, with a smaller audience and quite a few folks coming from the UK or Scandinavian, I had fewer than ten hands. Being in Italy, which is one of the countries at the very center of the euro crisis, I was expecting more hands to be raised.
But – guess what? – not a single hand was raised. It is quite possible that people were shy, or unwilling to show that they actually believe in the possibility of Italy dropping out of the euro, or maybe it was just too early in the morning. However, I found the outcome quite worrying.
Now, compare this absolute silence to an inquiry I had the other day with the Italian CIO of a multinational corporation that has asked subsidiaries in all countries at risk not only to develop plans but to also to implement the necessary changes in high-priority applications, so that the switchover may take place in a matter of days if needed. This organization is actually maintaining separate versions of the most critical systems, and has also a clear strategy about how to deal with other systems, how to engage vendors, how to prepare staff for before, during and after the changeover.
So where is the truth? Should IT organization remain in denial, assuming that the euro is “too big to fail”? Or should they consider the euro failure such a likely scenario to invest (and continue investing) significant resources to prepare for it?
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