Innovation and cost optimization go hand in hand, with one fueling the other. Innovative solutions bring in the cost savings which in turn can be used for additional innovation in the environment. Strategies that have proven to be successful for certain organizations include:
- Performing application portfolio rationalization to reduce application footprint.
- Development of microservices for applications.
- Adopting SaaS for applications like CRM.
- Implementing containers for effective orchestration of microservices.
- Adopting DevOps for enhancing the CI/CD pipeline.
- Adopting crowdsourcing.
- Consolidation of IT infrastructure, or sale of infrastructure assets.
- Convert the fixed costs of the current IT environment to variable costs with as-a-service options like IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS.
- Adoption of non-human interfaces like AI/ML-based chat.
- Aggressive adoption of the cloud.
As an example, consider the case of a leading supply chain management software company. The company adopted a path-breaking approach of moving its client-facing IT infrastructure from private cloud to public cloud in order to:
- Scale its business growth.
- Release its budget to fund transformation by driving 25% in operational savings, by investing in automation and AI.
- Drive efficiencies in operations by increasing support of a DevOps model.
The client embarked on an aggressive cloud-adoption journey wherein on-premises private cloud workloads were migrated to the public cloud environment to fulfill its objectives to be 100% hosted on public cloud and sunset its private cloud.
Technology has always been an enabler for enterprises to forge ahead during the good times, but there are also many opportunities to leverage technology to drive the business in a downturn. Successful companies know that it is during trying times that customers rely on and expect more from them. To that end, leading companies will look to innovative tech solutions to continue delivering to their customers and growing their lead in the market.
An important place to start is with operational efficiency to reduce costs and optimize business operations with robotic process automation, AI-based enablement, and automation, to name a few. Not only do these opportunities quickly improve run costs, drive efficiency and generate cost savings, but more importantly, they also fuel a company’s ability to redirect spend to more strategic opportunities like business intelligence, product development, and service innovations.
In addition, given contemporary delivery approaches like open-source platforms, elastic cloud environments, agile delivery, and software as a service, firms are able to expend less capital while quickly delivering iterative and increasing value to their customers.
As with all competitive environments, winning companies view difficult environments as an opportunity to extend their lead, differentiate themselves, and create competitive advantage—especially where one
isn’t intuitively obvious. This is a tried and true winning recipe in times of economic surplus and shortage alike. The important thing for companies to focus on in times of economic downturn is not how to dial down technology investment, but instead how to be more decisive with their select investments and laser-focused in their execution. This, in turn, creates exponential value from each dollar invested.
Companies who look at a downturn as an opportunity to outsmart the competition will naturally turn to technology as their key lever. By doing so they can drive efficiency to improve the bottom line, and in turn innovate to grow the top line.
The IT Leader’s Recession Playbook
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