Why it is particularly important to double IT investments now

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Recession is in the air. Given talk of inflation and economic uncertainty, businesses are trying to decide whether to hit the brakes or accelerate spending to zoom past the competition. IT departments are no exception, and the reactions are mixed.

Analyst firms such as Gartner estimate that IT spending will grow by 3% in 2022. Similarly, ETR Research estimates that IT spending will increase by 6.7% year-on-year. While both of these figures show an increase in IT spending, it is at a slower pace than in previous years. In contrast, some companies’ IT investments predict an increase over the next year.

After the challenges and uncertainty caused by the pandemic, it’s no surprise that some companies are confused. But there would be one huge wrong to press the brake now.

IT is crucial for the company’s productivity. IT teams are enablers, helping employees find and make the most of their technology to get their day-to-day work done. In fact, according to our research, 80% of IT professionals say that in the next 12 months, IT will increasingly be responsible for the employee experience – which became a new charter for IT as a result of the pandemic.


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IT also creates massive efficiency in business processes. IT staff act as internal experts on all of a company’s systems and applications and can help reduce waste in the organization’s technology stack. For example, they have the insight to spot “idle” applications that are not getting any use and trim the fat where necessary. Case in point: Recent research by BetterCloud found that 40% of IT professionals consolidated redundant SaaS apps this year.

Last, but far from least: IT secures a company’s most critical data. Despite consolidation, SaaS adoption is still on the rise. On average, organizations use 130 SaaS applications, an 18% increase from last year. More apps means more scattered data and more administrative work for IT to secure that data. Accidental and intentional data leaks happen every year. It is part of running a business in the digital workplace. And IT’s job is to set railings. According to our research, 81% of IT professionals say they are responsible for protecting sensitive data in SaaS apps.

The point is that cutbacks in IT can have unforeseen consequences. Understandably, there are times when it makes sense to make adjustments, but they must be done carefully. Otherwise, it can have the opposite effect, potentially affecting productivity, creating operational inefficiencies and weakening a company’s security posture.

IT: What can be done in times of uncertainty?

First, use your insights to continue to increase productivity and strengthen your business. You have a bird’s-eye view of the digital workplace that no other department has. You are perfectly positioned to share ideas on how to improve productivity, reduce friction and create greater efficiency across the business.

Start with a thorough assessment. Find out the answers to questions like: Which apps empower our employees to do their best work? Which apps are hindering your productivity? Where does our sensitive business data live? Where are the biggest risks?

Once you know where the weak points and risks are, see where you can create efficiencies. If staffing is an issue, consider hiring. The talent market in technology is small today, so it won’t be easy. But rest assured that if you’re a modern IT organization giving teams their strategic roles, you’ll find the support you need.

If it’s a technology issue, consider assessing your current productivity stack. What is used, and what is not? By consolidating intelligently, you may be able to reduce the number of SaaS apps without significantly impacting productivity. Low-hanging fruit includes targeting redundant programs and orphaned apps. If you have 300 apps but employees only use half, purge, purge, purge. It will ease the workload and cut costs.

If you must retreat, look to reduce the factors that use up the resources. A good place to start is automating workflows that chew up IT time and money. For example, automate repetitive tactical administration work for IT. Embrace zero-touch IT, a growing framework in modern organizations. Adopt technology that will help accelerate automation and give you insight and full control over your SaaS application ecosystem.

IT investments in the face of inflation

IT budgets will come under pressure as companies prepare for glum 2022 results in the current inflationary environment. If you are forced to make reductions, make them surgical. IT is the engine of many business functions, and IT cuts tend to unnecessarily expose a company to greater risk.

Employees’ demands for impeccable advice, clear expertise and available support are through the roof. The 3% to 6% increase in estimated IT spending for 2022 may not be sufficient for your organization in 2023. When budgeting and looking at the resources IT needs to succeed, part of the business case is simply that IT success pays themselves in digital transformation, productivity and business success.

Straining your IT team by trying to do even more with fewer people can lead to a mass exodus. For CIOs facing the expected recession with a plan and vision, this is an opportunity to raise the impact and visibility that IT has in the organization. The coming year, despite price and recession problems, is an opportunity for better resource allocation and favorable innovation.

David Politis is CEO of BetterCloud.

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