In 2013, Asia continued cautiously on its upward trajectory despite economic fluctuations and uncertainties caused by a shaky global landscape, businesses in Singapore (like in most Asian countries) witnessed unending pressure of managing resources under tighter economic conditions. The rapid influx of technologies, rising infrastructure and technology deployment costs alongside stringent economic conditions made the business landscape even tougher.
Such statistics are not surprising. A previous Gartner CIO survey highlights that enterprises only realise an average of 43 percent of their investment's business potential. As markets grew tighter, 75 percent Singapore businesses (as with many of their worldwide counterparts) outlined the need to reduce costs as a top priority. Additionally, 78 percent businesses expressed interest in exploring options that could help them reduce IT operational costs and free up money for new technology development and product/service innovation. The findings revealed in a study conducted by Forrester Consulting were in line with the Asian/global findings; as 76 percent of IT decision-makers felt rising cost pressure was a top concern for them. With nearly 40 percent of IT budgets dedicated to infrastructure, organisations have been challenged to deploy much more cost-effective solutions.
Third-party vendors such as Network Hardware Resale (NHR) have helped APAC businesses save US$200 million since 2008 in the region.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) expects Asia to remain as the world's economic engine with the Asian economy expected to grow at 5.3 percent in 2014, up from 5.1 percent in 2013. The IMF's theme for 2014, "transitions and tensions," has been classified as being anxious as drivers of activity are changing, and downside risks persist. While the global market spells caution, Gartner forecasts APAC IT spends to reach US$767 billion in 2014, a 5.5 percent increase from 2013.
To be successful in 2014, organisations will need to open up to smart equipment sourcing and maintenance alternatives that can help extend the life of their network. This not only enables cost savings but also helps free up resources locked in recurring expensive maintenance and premature upgrades.
Here are 3 tips companies can adopt to extend the life of IT investment and free up resources for innovations:
1. Avoid premature and unnecessary upgrades. Organisations should take a pragmatic view of their infrastructure and assess the services that need to be delivered and which services the infrastructure can handle. Gartner in an earlier report warned that failure in properly assessing the EOL of equipment can result in increased risks for the organisations. A recent Forrester study additionally stresses that 79 percent of organisations globally are refreshing their wired networking infrastructure prematurely (every 1 to 5 years) resulting in costly yet unnecessary replacement of IT equipment.
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