Opinions expressed by entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Technology evolves rapidly, bringing some significant challenges to the IT department. Modern CIOs, CTOs and IT leaders should adequately prepare for changes to remain relevant and competitive through these challenges.
More businesses are increasing their dependence on technology. The approach that continues to prove successful for most companies is to outsource the IT services in areas that are not part of their core competence. Outsourcing these areas or utilizing staff augmentation, which is a specialized form of utilizing outsourcing resources, is critical.
Inflation is another primary concern as production costs are cutting profits for many businesses. To succeed, IT leaders must push the boundaries and create solutions to remain afloat.
As technology changes, the challenges could present the perfect opportunity for IT leaders to deliver more business value than ever. Successful IT leaders identify these changes and promptly adapt to these evolving challenges. Here are a few measures to remain in business even as the world recovers from an economic recession:
Related: How Tech Can Succeed In Current Market Conditions
1. Find and retain talent with modern skills
The rapid growth of new technologies such as machine learning, AI and data science are becoming vital skills in the business world. And as a result, more businesses could face an IT skills gap where the supply of qualified IT professionals does not match the necessary IT skills. While most IT firms have a digital strategy, only a few have the skills to deliver these strategies.
The big challenge for CIOs is to bridge this gap while operating at full speed to retain a competitive edge. One way to do this is to pay a premium for quality skills or outsource IT consultants while you scout for new talents.
2. Learn what works for your business
Use the data-driven approach to mitigate business risks and generate profits. Gather enough information before making any significant changes to your company. Assess the facts, metrics and data you have to guide strategic decisions that align with your business goals, objectives and initiatives.
Data and analytics are always crucial to an IT company’s success. The pandemic served as a wake-up call for most businesses to step up their data efforts. Forbes reports a sharp increase in data collection in the past decade, from 1.2 trillion GB to 59 trillion GB. But only a fraction of businesses tap into this data’s potential to realize business success.
3. Allocate a reasonable budget to data management
Set aside a different budget for data initiatives such as data analytics and machine learning. The special budget allocation could translate to substantial cost savings through proper implementation. It also simplifies things when your stakeholders are empowered to work with data when making decisions. Amid a rapidly changing IT world, strong data practices will be essential for the new age of doing business.
Related: Trends that Will Shape The IT Industry in Coming Years
4. Set up a ransomware strategy
CIOs and CTOs must take a proactive approach to combat the risk of a ransomware attack. Malware software holds your business ransom by encrypting files on an infected network or computer and making them inaccessible.
And so, you’re forced to pay ransom to restore the file access. Unfortunately, these attacks are on the rise and can cause serious downtime for your services while you resolve these issues. Cyber attacks are profitable, as attackers realize that companies would rather pay a ransom than lose their confidential business documents.
IT leaders can’t wait for a system attack to make a plan. A ransomware strategy is a top priority for top CEOs. It’s for those who want to keep valuable information away from prying eyes and prevent business downtime.
5. Practice innovation leadership
Innovation leadership combines different techniques for motivating employees to develop creative ideas for creating innovative products and services. The innovation leader supports the company’s mission and vision to achieve the desired results.
As new technologies and processes emerge, organizations are innovative to ensure their continued success and have a competitive edge amid uncertain market conditions. IT companies will likely struggle or even go out of business without visionary leadership.
Urgent challenges that call for innovation include:
Working with limited resources
Meeting business needs quickly
Creating specific solutions in the form of products and services that are not currently in the market
Embrace decentralized software
Cloud computing is here to revolutionize business, and most organizations are quickly adopting it. Software as a Service (SaaS) offers specific functionalities that easily integrate with your business model and provide in-built applications to support your work.
Additionally, since cloud services are subscription-based, you eliminate the extreme financial risk of having to build one in-house. You will also not incur the high cost of setting up a complex IT infrastructure at your business premises.
Integrating SaaS into your business activities will also give you much flexibility. Since your apps and documents have external hosting, you can easily change your usage plan. This includes bandwidth and space requirements to suit your needs. You can also access your software remotely from any location as long as you have an internet connection.
And you won’t have to worry about data loss and downtimes. The cloud backs up your software so that you can restore it when you want.
Related: Closing the Skills Gap Through Innovation
6. Capitalize on consistency
When you are consistent in your business, you can quickly gain valuable insights into your market, learn from your mistakes and possibly identify a new market niche. Keep learning from market insights through the good, the bad and the ugly. Consistency will help you identify challenges and, in turn, opportunities that you can turn into a profitable business idea.
The final takeaway
Technology managers are used for rapid change. As new software hits the market, old ones evolve. And at times, market uncertainty could have little to do with the IT industry, yet affect your business performance.
As a technology leader, you must be highly adaptable. You need to quickly assess and reevaluate your business strategies to ensure you continue to innovate and keep your business running profitably, even during economic volatility.