Tightening Our Belts To Keep On Fighting

It would be fair to say that 2010 has been a tough year, with organisations of all shapes and sizes tightening the proverbial belt and battening down the hatches.

With public sector organisations receiving ‘the toughest settlement in living memory’ and many in the private sector battling to survive there have, inevitably, been casualties.

However, while many have fallen, others have not only survived, but thrived in these challenging times. Why could this be?

It’s hard to argue against the idea that businesses that are more streamlined, efficient and cost-effective are more likely to survive. Just as government is making its quest to rid itself of waste and inefficiency, many private sector organisations have already put themselves under the microscope to see how – and if – their processes work.

The private organisations that are surviving are typically those that have identified inefficiencies and have implemented solutions to remedy these inefficient practices. For instance, instead of using valuable financial and human resources to carry out mundane admin tasks from consolidating numerous spreadsheets through to printing and posting payslips, such tasks are increasingly being automated.

Secure document management systems are some of the investments organisations have been making in 2010 to streamline their finance and HR processes, cut costs and free-up much needed document storage space. These systems are also providing vital back-up should the worst happen. With the economy still proving challenging, a disaster such as Buncefield or Boscastle could prove devastating for organisations that are not adequately prepared.

And IT solutions are not only being used to improve efficiencies. 2010 has seen continued investment into business intelligence solutions, which are providing forward thinking organisations with essential organisation-wide insight, helping them to craft their business strategies for the future.

While nobody is under the impression that 2011 is the end of the hard times, as many organisations are proving, having effective IT solutions in place are giving organisations a fighting chance of survival, with some even thriving. With 2011 promising to be another tough year – for the public sector in particular – perhaps public sector organisations need to take a leaf out of the private sector’s book and put its own processes under the proverbial microscope.

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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.