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Analysis / Business

Are Your IT Systems Ready For The Recovery?

The last few posts have concentrated on the Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) – and with good reason.

The CSR brought into sharp focus how the UK economy has stagnated and drifted during the last few years. It also provided an outline for a strategy of constrained spending that it is hoped will bring Britain back to economic growth sooner rather than later.

And it is the sooner I wish to concentrate on now. Yes, things were bad and the CSR demonstrated how we – the public sector, its suppliers and the general public – will have to tighten our collective belts. But, at the same time, the economy is already showing signs of recovery.

After the depression of the last two years, various bodies are suggesting world trade and economic conditions will pick up again through 2010. The IMF expects global growth of 4% this year, while growth at home will be stable. Smart executives will also be thinking about how their organisations can exploit a new global market.

China, for example, took strong action to limit the effects of the global slowdown and it remains, with some of its emerging counterparts, such as Brazil and India, a strong bet for new opportunities. So, are you ready for a bigger, brighter future and how can IT prepare and monitor your path to growth?

Your workforce, in line with broader global trends towards mobilisation, is likely to become increasingly flexible. More firms are going to start hiring people on short-term contracts with specific skills for particular projects and so you will need a human resource system that can cope with complex working patterns and payment terms.

While growth is the long-term aim, cost containment is likely to remain the core business activity for many organisations. Containment is also likely to increase competitiveness and push the emergence of fast-moving, entrepreneurial firms. Having the right finance applications in place to analyse spend and enable cost containment will therefore be key.

Finally, in this fast-changing market place, do you actually know what your company does best and where opportunities for growth exist? Ensure your approach to analytics helps you to delve deeply, providing vital business intelligence that can make your leadership team ready for a brighter future.

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Dean Dickinson is Managing Director of Advanced Business Solutions, formerly COA Solutions. Dean has been in the finance software business since 1990. He was part of the senior management team at QSP/Arelon prior to the acquisition by COA Solutions at which time he became Deputy Managing Director for the business as a whole. Since the acquisition of COA Solutions by Advanced Computer Software Group in February 2010, Dean has become Managing Director for Advanced Business Solutions. He is a specialist in consultancy and has a strong knowledge of business processes within a high volume/high value environment.