How To Make Sure Your IT Doesn’t Restrict Your Growth

Business Growth

Expect something of a boom in IT spending in the coming months, expect to be part of it too. Whatever the size of your operation and the amount of available spend that you have Рor think that you have Рglobal economies are starting to defrost and your competitors are dusting off blueprints for projects that will give them a competitive edge. Autumn may be upon us but there is a feeling of Spring like rebirth in most business sectors.

As you re-enter the market for IT services you might notice that quite a lot has changed. From compliance requirements to available IT solutions, from new technologies to ever increasing and diverse security threats, from volatile vendor landscapes to new contractual models Рa lot has changed and not just in recent years, but probably even in the time between me writing this and you reading it. And it will go on changing and evolving and you will have to deal with that, because everyone else is.

Even the banks are waking up and smelling the coffee – largely because most of their old High Street branches are now a Costa or a Starbucks – but also because they’ve been forced to. Watch how they tread, as it will deliver some valuable lessons and demonstrate the pace of change.

So let’s consider banking for a moment. Traditionally the banks have been rather slow adopters of new technologies, but they are waking up to competition from non-bank newcomers such as Google and PayPal and the fact that a whole new generation of potential customers will not want to access them the way their parents or grandparents – or even their older siblings did! And that’s how quick … and how much things are changing.

The non-bank “interlopers” are cherry picking from the menu of highly profitable and less regulated revenues, like foreign exchange and unsecured lending. They’re not interested in chaining pens to desks and providing traditional banking services, BUT it is these services that have been subsidising the rest of what IS expected of the bank.

The new operators have taken these areas of the business out of the High Street, taken them online, streamlined them and the banks REALLY are playing catch up to get them back. They’re making a start. Two-thirds of bankers, questioned by banking software firm Temenos 1, are planning to spend more on information technology this year, that’s higher than at any time since before the start of the financial crisis.

But the banks must spend wisely otherwise their IT infrastructure could become a bewildering muddle of IT systems. Historically banks have seen IT as a necessary evil – perhaps your firm or organisation has too – turning only to tech when you really need to.

Many have developed a patchwork of systems over time and the problem with that is that they are not only less reliable than bespoke, custom built contemporary systems but they are also less efficient than competitors starting from scratch with their IT estate. The banks are throwing considerable amounts of money at the problem, but maybe, you don’t have the budget to bring in ‘the usual suspects’. Maybe you don’t have to.

It is worth considering multi-sourcing your IT Service Management (ITSM) through a partner who will operate from your business perspective whilst leveraging the benefits of multiple vendor/client relationships. ITSM, buying Project Management as a Service, and multi-sourcing key IT functions can.

  • Achieve substantial and sustainable improvements in total costs of operations (TCO).
  • Increase capability by deploying new and innovative services that enable attainment of strategic business objectives.
  • Increase capacity by providing access to scalable and resilient sources of talent and infrastructure, to enable achievement of business goals.

In short it can achieve what the banks need to at a fraction of the cost they will probably spend. This post-depression phase growth is rekindling your competitor’s ambition, when it comes to IT, simply “keeping the lights on” is not an option. However, with attitudes to risk understandably cautious and with a vast landscape of available options and solutions it can be a bewilderingly complex prospect. Finding yourself a multisourcing partner who hasn’t hibernated through the Autumn and Winter of recession can help you put in place IT infrastructure fit for growth.

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Andrew Buxton is Business Development Director and also a co-founder of Stoneseed. He has more than 20 years' IT industry experience, working with medium and large organisations designing Intelligent IT sourcing models. Andrew works directly with CIOs to help them address critical IT needs, creating business framework models for change to balance the delivery of key IT services with on-going budget challenges.