Organisations across all industries have had to adapt to economic and societal volatility and rapidly evolving market dynamics to meet customer needs and ensure business success. In a South African and global economy characterised by rising inflation, shrinking budgets and supply chain disruption, business leaders are focused on finding ways to respond to specific business and industry challenges at speed.
Ongoing uncertainty and increasingly complex business and industry challenges have meant that organisations of all sizes have had to learn to infuse technology into every business process and function to do more with less and remain competitive.
Doing more with less is a growing priority for businesses today. It means consolidating existing investments and assets involving business resources – such as data, documents, databases, applications, platforms networks, and systems, as well as security for these business-critical resources – by reducing duplicate and redundant solutions, and leveraging technologies that enable consolidation. It also means ensuring that future investments are delivering maximum return on investment.
The ability to do more with less requires a full understanding of current assets and investments, how the business is leveraging these to drive growth, and whether the technology investments in place are being used appropriately in terms of security, governance and compliance. It is critical to ensure that digital solutions meet local compliance and regulatory requirements.
Driving innovation with solutions that enable rapid development with fewer resources
The current socio-economic landscape necessitates leveraging the assets and investments businesses already have in place, but it also requires building on that foundation by innovating and reimagining ways of doing business. For more and more businesses, that means investing in cloud-powered technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), the internet of things (IoT), and machine learning.
Cloud-based solutions, services and products offer organisations unparalleled agility and efficiency, provide opportunities to generate economies of scale, and make security comprehensive while driving growth and innovation.
Increasingly, the driving force behind innovation is low-code/no-code solutions that allow organisations to build applications faster—with fewer resources.
Solutions like power apps reduce development costs by enabling anyone in the organisation – from business users to professional developers – to rapidly build, test and bring tailored solutions into production without having to involve scarce IT resources. This means businesses are able to adapt and respond to rapid developments in real-time – increasing agility, modernising processes and solving real business challenges.
Accelerating digital innovation and maximising the value of current and future digital investments is only going to get more important going forward. Businesses are going to need to become more agile, resilient, and competitive – so ensuring a solid digital foundation that enables them to do more with less will be essential to deliver critical business outcomes in an unpredictable economy.
By focusing on consolidating existing investments and assets, leveraging technologies that enable consolidation, reducing duplicate and redundant solutions, optimising processes and functions, and innovating, businesses will not only be able to respond to market changes, customer needs and specific business and industry challenges that ensure their own success but also contribute to broader economic growth.
By Lillian Barnard – she was appointed as the CEO of Microsoft South Africa in 2019. She joined Microsoft in 2017 as the public sector director for South Africa, a role she held for almost two years. Lillian has more than 20 years’ experience in the ICT industry. [The article was 1st published in BizCommunity 2023 Biz feature]