As far back as 2003, people argued that IT doesn’t matter: that in an age of commodity PCs and applications, it just didn’t give any competitive advantage.
Even more recently, some people still take this line. The argument, however, seems to ignore the value of IT to businesses – we’re all geeks now – and focuses instead on the decline of specialist IT departments.
By 2017, almost half of UK businesses will outsource their core IT services. Despite this shift, more businesses are becoming better informed and demanding more from IT. Users now expect applications to be self-service, a desire made real by the prevalence of easy-to-use cloud technology.
Regardless of this change in dynamic, and perhaps because of it, IT matters more than ever and here’s why:
1. IT is the foundation of your business
‘This is a software-powered world’ says Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella. IT is part of the foundation of modern business, alongside HR, finance, sales and the rest. It underpins every other aspect of the business. The right technology can make people more productive, deliver better customer services, accelerate innovation and help managers make smarter decisions. The wrong technology is like sand in the petrol tank – pretty soon everything grinds to a halt.
2. Your competition is using IT better than you
The pace of digital disruption is speeding up. Not only is the global workforce going mobile, but they’re also migrating their business to the cloud. The cloud gives companies a chance to get the competitive edge with its flexible and cost-effective infrastructure.
For example, our Azure Calculation Engine lifts complex Excel spreadsheets and other intensive calculations into the cloud and, in doing so, accelerates them dramatically. This kind of capability gives companies – including your competitors – an edge.
3. Good IT protects your data
In 2015, 90 percent of large organisations experienced a security breach and more than half expect another incident in the next year. More worryingly, in many cases the worst breaches were because IT security got a low priority.
As technology advances so does the threat landscape. Attackers are becoming more sophisticated and no business is entirely safe. Your best defence against a malicious attack, whether internal or external, is to have solid IT services that include an efficient backup, disaster recovery and business continuity plan.
Good IT security is an enabler but bad IT security is an existential threat to your business.
Why IT matters
Whether you’re developing your in-house department or reaching out to a trusted third-party services provider, IT matters:
• Connecting you to your employees and your clients
• Keeping your business running smoothly
• Helping you make good decisions
• Protecting your data from security threats
• Improving business services and customer engagement
• Driving innovation
What’s most important is that you don’t neglect it. The saying goes that you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone. Well, IT is the one part of your business you don’t want to miss and you don’t want to find your competitors have the advantage over you.