GARTNER INC.’S GARDEN GROWS

The lasting legacy of the tech boom is simple, according to Gartner Inc. CEO Michael Fleisher: Technology is worthy. But the additional lesson — the one that the losers in the tech bust forgot — is that technology also needs to be managed aggressively.

Information tech consultancy Gartner takes that rule to heart. In fact, back in 1999 when Fleisher’s analysts and consultants predicted the tech downturn, the 37-year-old CEO took immediate and tough measures. He pared back staff and cut spending in the midst of the healthiest economy in decades. Obviously, it was the right choice, and it’s part of the reason why Gartner still saw a revenue increase of 11 percent in 2001.

Fleisher plans to continue growing Gartner with three key strategies: focus on the core business, manage expenses aggressively, and continue to innovate. With the last in mind, Gartner launched G2 last June to promote business strategies to a buyer different from its typical client, the information technology manager or CIO. G2 targets heads of business units, chief marketing officers, and operational executives responsible for strategy.

“In a really tough business environment,” says Fleisher, “companies are forced to make very tough and very rational business decisions. That’s actually a great time to be Gartner.”