Ecommerce development teams should do more with less,  to maximise their resources, according to Gartner.

Although IT budgets are shrinking anywhere between 5 percent to 25 percent, IT ecommerce organizations are expected to sharpen the online shopping experiences of their companies' customers.

Thus, in order to stretch their resources and meet management's expectations, e-commerce units can take various steps, including reducing the money they spend on developing in-house applications, Gartner said Monday.

In particular, IT departments shouldn't invest on creating their own applications for basic e-commerce functions, since those can be implemented at a lower cost through commercial "off the shelf" software.

Specifically in the case of rich Internet applications (RIAs), the custom development work should be limited to those applications that will generate high sales conversion rates.

In addition, IT departments must make sure that their ecommerce groups are maximisng the use of technology tools and products the company already owns.

At the negotiation table, IT departments should be merciless when dealing with their e-commerce software vendors and aim to lower their 2009 licence fees between 20 percent to 50 percent.

Finally, IT managers need to take stock of their staff to see if there are employees elsewhere doing the same tasks, such as separate marketing people for online and offline operations, in which case the work can be consolidated and personnel reduced, according to Gartner.