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Business growth in the years ahead will require an agile, resilient tech stack that can respond rapidly to evolving market conditions, consumer preferences, and governance requirements.

And yet while the responsibility for building this type of architecture sits firmly on the shoulders of IT leadership, IT is already facing tremendous demand. Aggressive action, forward-looking mindsets, and strong vendor partnerships will make it possible for IT leaders to overcome existing and emerging challenges in order to drive new growth at their companies.

The Current Landscape:
Where We’ve Been

It’s no understatement to say that IT leaders have faced unprecedented challenges over the past few years.

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated digital transformation, creating technical debt and leading to both unnecessarily high storage and compute costs as well as the potential for unidentified security vulnerabilities. At the same time, ongoing platform investments by Microsoft and other cloud providers have made it easy to fall behind as leaders’ attention is focused elsewhere.

Acquiring and retaining talent remains difficult, especially for IT departments still running legacy systems. As the Hays Salary Guide notes, the tech sector is one area where much-needed skills remain in short supply in Australia and New Zealand—and there’s little relief on the horizon.

Demand for increasingly complex technology has also grown. Customers want more personalised experiences and rapid solutions to their problems—both of which are heavily driven by technology. Staff, on the other hand, want more software, solutions, and integrations in order to increase productivity and remain competitive.

Cybersecurity and compliance round out the list of the biggest challenges currently confronting IT. In addition to facing higher levels of cybercrime than ever before, IT leaders are required to remain on top of a growing list of compliance and regulatory requirements—from ISO and APRA, to GDPR, CSA, and NIST. Even though many businesses lack the internal resources needed to keep up with these demands, the penalties for falling out of compliance can be steep.

Our Technology Forecast:
Where We’re Going

The good news is that despite these challenging conditions, business and IT leaders will likely be able to shift their focus in the coming years from simply surviving to playing a key role in driving growth and opportunities. While this will be a welcome change for many, it will put additional pressure on already-overburdened IT leaders to meet both new and existing demands.

With this in mind, here are four recommendations to help your organisation build momentum over the next three years:

Update (or Develop) Your Cloud Migration Strategy

Simply put, if you don’t yet have a cloud migration strategy, you risk falling behind competitors that are already cloud-based or that used the COVID pandemic to drive a full or partial move to the cloud.

Already, the International Data Corporation (IDC) predicts that “80% of enterprises will put a mechanism in place to shift to cloud-centric infrastructure and applications twice as fast as before the pandemic.” Furthermore, the organisation expects that, by 2023, “75% of G2000 companies will commit to providing technical parity to a workforce that is hybrid by design”.

If you don’t already have a cloud migration strategy, Canon Business Services ANZ (CBS) can take you through a comprehensive digital transformation journey, including all of the readiness assessments required to develop a modern multi-cloud plan. Through this work, CBS can help you:

• Identify the appropriate cloud strategy for your organisation across public, private, hybrid, and other combination environments
• Evaluate your existing enterprise software (especially important, given that Gartner predicts high growth in this spending category in 2022)
• Assess opportunities for app modernisation through the ‘6Rs’, including places where legacy software can be replaced by Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)
• Find ways to eliminate software usage entirely through the implementation of business process automation (BPA) 

Even if you do have a cloud migration strategy in place, CBS can evaluate your existing cloud architecture for new efficiencies—in particular, by reducing the total number of vendors you need to work with.

Given that reducing your vendor footprint has the potential to drive cost savings, improve resilience, increase your audit compliance, and reduce operational burdens, it should come as no surprise that IDC predicts that, by 2024, “75% of enterprises will overhaul relationships with suppliers, providers, and partners.”

Free Up Budget to Enable Additional Security Capabilities

Chances are you already know that your business needs to invest more in improving its security posture. But since the budget to do so has to come from somewhere—and since other line items are unlikely to suddenly disappear—you may need to get creative when freeing up additional funding.

One way CBS helps clients unlock additional spend is by using business process automation (BPA) to reduce costs in non-IT areas. By taking a more holistic look at your operations, we can identify business processes outside of IT that can either be fixed or simplified. Doing so opens up budget that can then be used for security initiatives without compromising growth in other areas.

Implement Robotic Process Automation (RPA)

Too often, legacy applications go unchecked within organisations. Not only can they lead to unnecessary expenses, they often lack the integration capabilities modern businesses need—putting you further behind competitors.

In some cases, robotic process automation (RPA) may be able to use robot workers to create integrated, automated systems that increase productivity, boost profitability, and reduce operating costs. In fact, some CBS projects have returned a positive ROI in as little as three months, while also allowing companies to redirect employee effort from highly repetitive tasks to higher-value activities.

Invest in Building Strong Vendor Partnerships

More than ever before, IT organisations are being asked to do more with fewer resources. A managed services provider (MSP) like CBS can help you navigate these issues and become more agile and resilient, thanks to the full breadth and depth of our capabilities across cloud, managed services, security, and automation.

Even better, as leaders in digital transformation, we bring leading-edge perspectives across multiple IT disciplines that can help you successfully address the challenges ahead—from 2022-24 and beyond.

For more insights on how Canon Business Services ANZ can help optimise your operations, reach out to our team today.

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