Navigating the New World: Consolidating IT Infrastructure in Today’s Business Climate By Sion Lewis, GM EMEA at GoTo

Over the last two years, businesses have been pushed to accelerate the digitalisation processes and acclimatise to external and internal volatile circumstances in order to maintain business operations. Deloitte found that 85% of CEOs accelerated digital transformation projects during the COVID-19 period alone. Businesses went remote, the workforce scattered, and the consolidation of IT infrastructure has never been so paramount.

Yet, the mass adoption of tech solutions has begun to have a lasting effect on businesses and becoming more problematic each and every day. From incompatible software to duplicated services, many businesses are struggling to formulate a cohesive structure for their technology stack.

The trials and tribulations of IT management

According to Gartner, worldwide IT spending is projected to total $4.4 trillion in 2022, an increase of 5.3% from 2021. However, now that the dust has settled from pandemic-related disruption, a proper strategy around having the right tech tools in place for the business needs to be addressed – it's no longer about finding short-term solutions, but about auditing and consolidating what’s currently available within the business and planning for the future.

Of all the organisations affected, this issue is most significant for smaller organisations. These SMBs, which account for around 60 per cent of the employment and around half of turnover in the UK private sector according to the FSB, are short-staffed, without dedicated teams of IT admins, and don’t have enterprise-level budgets to handle proper tech management. Without this, SMBs are experiencing blind spots across their organisation which makes them vulnerable to cybercriminals and rising shadow IT being installed into their network by employees trying to retrofit solutions.

IT solutions are needed now; they must be easy to manage, easy to deploy and affordable. In the 2022 hybrid landscape, simplification, consolidation, and security need to be the watchwords for leaders, to optimise business efficiency and make the lives of employees that bit easier.

The roadmap to success

In our hybrid working climate, it is vital that leaders have full visibility of their operational ins and outs. Organisations must frequently audit and assess which tools they have and how they are being used across their network.

There must also be a focus on providing greater efficiencies across the business with an always-on security monitoring, which works around the clock to arm businesses with the strongest defence possible against cyber-attacks.

However, not all businesses have the financial capacity to hire elaborate IT teams for 24/7 security surveillance – and they shouldn’t have to. By ensuring that vendors have prioritised security precautions, in-house IT teams can rest assured knowing that their systems are being closely monitored for threats and general maintenance issues. This leaves them to focus on getting their job done well so that their business may grow safely.

Companies need to communicate with their employees on the channels they are most actively using to ensure they are successfully reaching all of their employees equally. With the multitude of IT solutions being bought and adopted since the pandemic, IT teams now have service duplications and employees do not always know where to find information about their benefits, resources, or who to reach out to for support. Establishing consistency in communication in an easy and accessible way will enable fair access of knowledge to those who won’t be in person every day. We need to democratise access to information regardless of where you are based.

Instead of asking employees to hunt down a help desk portal that is outside of their normal workflow, companies should integrate one into their day-to-day business operations ensuring that employees have the means to do their best work seamlessly from anywhere.

Employee welfare as the new business capital

Since the pandemic, there has been a fundamental shift that now recognises employee welfare as a contributor to an organisation’s business capital. Greater flexibility of where and when people work positively correlates with employee morale, and productivity.

A successful IT infrastructure that enables remote work ensures that the functions of the workplace are all from the convenience of the home. Now, employees are no longer hindered by everyday life disturbances and are free to work to the beat of their own drum. This helps to reduce the risk of burn-out and mental health problems, and therefore encourages greater efficiencies by making work more accessible.

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