Between pandemic recovery and economic uncertainty, it is a challenging time for a lot of businesses in both Ireland and further afield. However, during times like these, opportunities are rife and it can prove fruitful for identifying new growth areas. As companies aim to prioritise growth, IT spend also looks set to rise in 2023. In fact, Gartner has forecast worldwide IT spending to grow 5.1% in 2023.
Of course, organisations will want to ensure they are being smart with their budgets and investing in the right technologies that will benefit their entire organisation and support the specific needs of the business. This involves thorough assessment, careful planning and effective implementation of IT systems and solutions.
In turn, this will help to support service delivery for customers, boost operational efficiency for employees, and enable business opportunities for the company as a whole – elements which are never more important than during times of change.
With widespread remote working and mounting budgetary pressure, businesses should aim to minimise costs and maximise productivity through digitisation. For some, such as financial services, this means streamlining operations, digitising internal processes and moving to the cloud. For others, like retail, it means going beyond bricks and mortar to enable online shopping.
As well as aiding customers, digitalisation – through the introduction of the cloud and the implementation of collaboration tools – also has benefits for the employee experience in terms of engagement, efficiency and efficacy. By working smarter, people are likely to be more motivated and also more productive. In turn, this benefits colleagues, customers and stakeholders.
Whatever the technologies, organisations cannot afford to sit on their hands any longer. By regarding technology as a productivity and growth enabler, the digitalisation of services can both stabilise and support organisations during both recovery and recessionary times.
Companies must not overlook their day-to-day in times of change and will want to keep the lights on, maintain operations and uphold service delivery. That means focusing on the basics, channelling what investment is available on IT foundations and prioritising infrastructure projects if necessary. Even though these are core systems, adopting the right approach remains crucial.
For example, if an organisation decides to adopt more cloud services such as production ready cloud, it’s imperative they identify and run the right workloads in the right environment. Furthermore, it must be secured adequately, while simultaneously supporting accessibility and enabling connectivity for users.
Furthermore, while customers inevitably want more choice and it’s likely that we’ll see the development of additional industry cloud propositions, organisations need to ensure they are consuming technology which is relevant to their industry and not just taking a broad-brush approach.
Businesses desire intelligent knowledge which is pertinent to them and while innovation may not be the priority for 2023, being able to adapt to the evolving landscape and marketplace in itself is innovative and a sign of resilience.
The pandemic taught businesses many lessons, including the importance of maintaining daily operations and embracing change. This remains true in economically challenging times and times where skills are in short supply. Enabling and empowering people with the right technologies can be a determining factor in attracting and retaining the best talent, which can set your organisation apart.
By driving digitalisation and streamlining operations, companies can create an agile but reliable IT infrastructure and strengthen their position for both today and the future – whatever that may hold. It will come down to adapting on a daily or weekly basis, planning for the months ahead, and investing in technologies which will help your organisation for years to come.
Mark Benson, Chief Technology Officer, Logicalis UK&I
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