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Three key areas of priority for a digital strategy, even during times of crisis

In difficult times, it may feel like the only way to keep your business alive is to cut every possible cost across the organisation. But if you want to be well prepared when the world starts getting back to normal, it’s important to adapt to the future and take a strategic approach to your digitalisation projects – even in times of crisis. In this article we highlight examples of three areas which can be especially important to prioritise in these types of situations.

Why prioritise IT projects at present?
In Computer Sweden, Steve Bate, global manager of the KPMG centre of excellence for IT managers, advises companies to ignore their initial instinct to put transformation on ice, and step up the pace in order to ensure they are in a stronger position when the tide turns. The key is to work strategically in both the short- and long-term.

Previous events such as the dotcom crash, 9/11 and the most recent economic crisis provide clear examples of organisations where IT managers have cut costs by stopping IT projects. However, when the economy got up and running again these same organisations were lagging behind the businesses that took a more investment-orientated route. One difference today is that, over the last 10 years, a transition has also taken place whereby IT has gone from being just a support function to a business-critical facility which is vital to the survival of a company. Adopting a digital strategy for your business is more important now than before, and failing to act could have consequences in future.

1. New ways of working place greater demands on the right infrastructure and the right digital tools
Teleworking is set to be here to stay, and as more people work from home, many organisations will have to manage the increased pressure on their communication infrastructure. There is growing pressure on employers to ensure their employees have the right tools in order to work from home effectively and securely, and this is an important area of priority for many at present. In addition to effective infrastructure, it’s also important to ensure employees have the necessary skills to operate the new digital tools used when teleworking.

You can find out more about teleworking here: How to make teleworking work for your employees, How enabling teleworking creates better employees and Work from home with Microsoft Teams.

2. IT security is more important than ever
The time is right to start looking over your IT security and adapting it to the threats we’re currently faced with. For instance, although lot of enterprises are using cloud services to collaborate online, working virtually to a greater extent also makes our data more vulnerable. A large portion of the company’s data is moved to sites in the cloud which may be vulnerable, while employees may be using private, possibly insecure connections. In Recorded Future, you can read about how cybercrime increases in conjunction with crisis situations and economic downturns, as perpetrators prey on people’s concerns. This is echoed by the views of the experts behind the IT security pod in the segment How the hackers are exploiting the current crisis.

There are several ways of quickly increasing the security level at your company through simple means. These include effective backup routines, ensuring updates are carried out at the right time, reviewing the security of wireless networks and working closely with IT experts. More detail about how you can easily improve IT security at your company can be found here.

3. Reduce unnecessary costs and focus on the right IT projects
To future-proof your business, it’s important to continue prioritising IT projects – and eliminating unnecessary costs is a good way of financing this. Different types of licenses are a common cost for companies, and a good first port of call when identifying unnecessary expenses. For example, of all the subscriptions for Microsoft 365 licences, an average of 15 percent have not been assigned to a user. So make sure you’re not paying for licenses which are not used.

It may be worth giving some thought to outsourcing your IT needs. There are many solutions you can subscribe to for a fixed monthly fee. Outsourcing makes it easier to scale up and down IT solutions if required, and in line with the number of users in question. This is often the most cost-efficient approach in the long term.

Need help to prioritise IT projects for the future and identify solutions that will make your business more competitive when the tide turns? Then undertake a digital strategy analysis with Nordlo.

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