Is putting your Customer first at the heart of your IT Strategy for 2017?PW Data Group
2016 really was the year when Small to Medium sized Business’ leveraged the power IT offers them
The availability of better IT technology has been the single more important contributor to business growth this year with the trend set to follow well in to 2017.
Growth and improving efficiency continue to be key drivers for SME’s – developing technology is a cost-effective way of staying ahead of competitors.
Research by Deloitte also confirms the importance of technology across the sector. The business consultancy says SME’s embracing technology outperform those that are slower adapters, while the Deloitte survey indicates that the average SME spends 3 – 5 per cent of its revenue on IT. However, the profile of spending is different for the fastest growing companies, as over 30 per cent of them spend more than 10 per cent of revenue on IT Services.
IT in the workplace is evolving:
The wide adoption of flexible working in the last few years has led to Businesses needing to become more Cloud Based. With a third of the workforce keen to work remotely, those employees are seeking new ways of working and will need the ‘supporting technology’ more than ever to be able to stay in touch with colleagues.
This landscape is going to continue to change, it is clear from the extensive range of work-based collaboration tools that ‘unified communication’ plays a fundamental role, and will be central to the running of successful Businesses in 2017.
Take Flexible Working for instance: understanding how each employee expects to be able to do their job and how IT can enable and support this is a fundamental question to be asking ourselves in the current climate.
What about the demands for space? Hot Desking – can you really afford to not be Cloud based? All of these are important questions to be asking ourselves when formulating a clear IT Strategy in 2017.
To meet these demands employers need unified communications that enable new and traditional working styles to be integrated seamlessly together in order to drive increased efficiency through healthy work life balance and the ability to be stay connected whenever and wherever and also without compromising on security.
Technology can have a significant impact on Business Growth, but where should you invest your IT Budget?
Cloud Technology in the past few years has cemented its position as the future of IT, predicted to grow on average of 19.4 per cent each year until 2020.
Investing in more Cloud based Technology can deliver a number of advantages. Smaller enterprises can benefit from the scalability the Cloud offers, buying services as and when they need them, while security has improved to the point where hosted services now offer some of the most secure spaces available for personal data.
Which technologies should be invested in can be a difficult call to make if you have a limited budget. The Cloud is clearly an investment priority, however – also looking at the wider IT landscape also reveals a number of other areas where investment could be sensible for your business. Despite most organisations having less hardware on site than they did five years ago, physical hardware is actually still essential to maintaining system up time.
The disconnect between Cloud and hardware has developed by nature; the Cloud is seen as a connection to a network that is often wireless and without the need to connect to a physical platform in the same location. In actual fact, platforms are run by mass Data Centres – rooms full of networking, server and storage components, all of which require maintenance. Just this month Microsoft launched three new Data Centres in London, Durham and Cardiff.
This speed of technology uptake has not just been since the emergence of the internet – fewer SME’s have any system hardware and the days of a data-centre in the basement of every company building are slowly disappearing. The perception to the end user is that on premise IT and hardware investment is on the way out but this is not necessarily the case.
Cloud deployment is not for everyone – the decision over CPE/ ‘Customer Premise Equipment’ – is largely down to the overall company IT Strategy. The great thing is that there are great choices from either model to suit the user.
Whether you are in the CPE or the Cloud Camp, at PW Data Group we believe that users are at the heart of everyone’s Business, how can technology help you keep your customers at the core of what you do?