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- A bright horizon for South Africa's energy landscapeBarry Bredenkamp
- Achieving developmental goals through constructionCyril Vuyani Gamede
CSI & Sustainability trends
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- 5 sustainability trends that will shape business in 2021Christelle Marais
- 4 trends set to continue or be re-interpreted in the NGO sectorInnocent Masayira
- Strengthening NPO skills and processesNazeema Mohamed, Feryal Domingo and Soraya Joonas
- Sustainability is key for social investment in 2021Keri-Leigh Paschal
- 4 trends in employee skills development and training you need to know for 2021Siphelele Kubheka and Desikan Naidoo
Energy & Mining trends
- 10 predictions around fintechDominique Collett
- The 4 themes for the new yearAndrew Duvenage,
- 3 wealth management trends to watch in 2021Maarten Ackerman
- 4 strategies to rethink investing in SMEsKuhle Mnisi
- Microinsurance ready to reach new heightsMarius Botha
- Finding alpha in the age of Covid-19Nema Ramkhelawan-Bhana
- Purpose or profit. It's not a choiceMike Middleton
- Shifting towards a digital - but still human - approachHenry van Deventer
HR & Management trends
- 4 areas in which your business can practice its swivelFrancois Kriel
- 3 big issues demanding legal attention this yearJonathan Veeran, Nozipho Mngomezulu and Burton Phillips
Logistics & Transport trends
Marketing & Media trends
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- Auction industry survival depends on going virtualJoff van Reenen
- Covid-19 drives new trends in local property marketMarcél du Toit
- A bold year for beveragesAlex Glenday
- Acceleration of digital paymentsJonathan Smit
- Safety vs sustainability - the packaging industry's key conundrumNthabiseng Motsoeneng
- The evolving e-tail landscapeVilo Trska
[BizTrends 2016] IT's changing of the guard
Thanks to the evolution of technology, small to medium enterprises (SMEs) no longer need to be responsible for IT in the traditional sense. With these companies under pressure to deliver more on smaller budgets, the likes of cloud computing, accessible high-speed connectivity and hosted solutions have become game-changers.
Keeping an open mind
For years, decision-makers have been looking for ways to remove themselves from the need to manage IT. Fortunately, those SMEs who do not focus on providing ICT services and solutions are finally in a position to do just that.
By nature, an SME is more open-minded to embracing progressive ideas that might not necessarily fit conventional wisdom. They are continually looking for ways to remove superfluous business elements and concentrate on fulfilling the core strategy of the company. Unlike larger organisations, the SME is not encumbered with a panel or a risk assessment division that slows down the decision-making process. The SME is much more agile and can quickly embrace new solutions.
The hosted environment
When it comes to IT, the requirement is simple. The SME wants to compute, connect, email, and backup their business documents. The hosted environment provides the perfect way to do this. The cloud approach presents the decision-maker with a completely modular route. It is simply a case of ticking the boxes of the solutions required and the services provider taking care of the rest.
What is more, this presents them with a way to quickly change solutions as their requirements shift. There is no reason to be worried about being stuck with fixed infrastructure. No, the cloud takes much of those concerns away and gives scalability, redundancy, and security, all at a fraction of the cost. More importantly, it happens so much faster. An SME cannot afford to wait six months for a consultancy to roll out a new accounting package or upgrade its internet connectivity to a faster line. Once a solution has been identified, it needs to be implemented as quickly as possible while keeping the impact on daily operations to a minimum.
LucieLucy via pixabay
Traditional IT strategy is out
Just think about connectivity as an example. There are so many preconceived ideas around having to get an ADSL line. Wireless and fibre, as conventional wisdom goes, are too expensive for SMEs. And then there is the humble computer. The status quo dictates you going down to your closest mass retailer and buying an off-the-shelf desktop.
Yet, both fibre and wireless solutions are available that not only provide much faster and more stable speeds, but are priced equitably to business ADSL solutions. The same goes for computers. Why spend R10,000 on a desktop with features that are not needed, when a hybrid computer offering the same functionality can be purchased for less than R3,000?
All told, the days of relying on a traditional IT strategy are over. Technology has become a means to an end. Those SMEs who are willing to embrace this new order, will likely leave their more traditional competitors in their wake.