By Richard Blewitt, Sales Director at Aptronics
There is very little hesitation in the minds of South Africans that our economy is under huge pressure. You just need to look at the news headlines to see it. With the rand weakening and interest rates on the rise, businesses around the country are being left in a precarious position when it comes to their spending habits and budget planning.
In the current economic climate, the pressure has fallen on the CIOs of companies to cut costs, while increasing efficiencies and demonstrating greater business value. Is this realistic or grasping at straws?
The current state of the economy is without a doubt having an impact on businesses and how they spend their money. Gone are the days where CIOs had exorbitant budgets approved within hours; the watchdogs are clamping down and revising every cent being spent. Even budgets that have been previously approved are being closely re-examined. Is the spending really valid? The current situation speaks volumes of the need for IT personnel to adapt their approach to infrastructure spending in their business.
A focus on being proactive
The main problem we are seeing within the IT space has to do with the approach companies have to their IT infrastructure and solutions. Organisations need to adapt, and fast. The majority of the businesses out there are still in a reactive state, where CIOs and other IT staff only implement IT solutions when there is an urgent need for them. This reactive mindset is costing businesses greatly when it comes to money and time. Automation and orchestration of processes within the data centre alleviate these problems and allow organisations to be more proactive.
Take, for example, the on boarding process for new hires. When an employee joins an organisation, the HR team requires many systems to be updated to bring them on board and enable them to be productive as soon as they start. With orchestration and automation, this process can be streamlined. All information associated with the employee, including personal and employment details, equipment information, and the provisioning of IT services can be integrated into a single interface designed to manage all on boarding procedures quickly and simply.
Retaining the competitive edge
Thanks to tighter budgets, CIOs are having to find innovative ways to demonstrate greater business value for their customer base. Changing the way they go to market, as well as the products and solutions on offer, is one sure way to retain a competitive edge in a cut-throat industry. CIOs need to work closely with their customers to constantly better their offering and tailor solutions accordingly.
Whether budgets are being cut in half or only slightly adjusted, there is a definite need for CIOs and businesses to become more agile in their approach to customers’ demands. With everyone feeling the pinch thanks to our current economic state, it is important to understand that these pressures are widespread and influence multiple industries. Now is the time for businesses to adjust their focus and look to a sustainable future for their IT efforts.