Navigating Disruption: Is It Time for a Great IT Reset?

While the uncertainty of today’s macroeconomic landscape has thrown up many unknowns, what hasn’t changed is the fact that being agile and nimble is still crucial. 

The problem is the intensity of disruption can be overwhelming. From recessionary pressures to inflationary forces – not to mention supply chain bottlenecks, superpower competition and geopolitical conflicts – businesses face disruption from everywhere all at once. The question on everyone’s minds is how do we navigate these simultaneous challenges. 

Despite the looming global economic uncertainties, the Malaysian economy performed well in the first quarter of 2023 (Q1 2023) with an expansion of 5.6% which exceeded the 4.8% growth achieved in Q1 2022. The growth from local industries, especially the services and manufacturing sectors, is expected to sustain for the rest of 2023.

However, the current global situation is fluid and subject to sudden shocks at any given moment. With this in mind, business decision-makers must reassess how their long-term targets fit in the grand scheme of things. While the business side of the organisation ponders potential spending cuts and hiring freezes, IT leaders know they have to achieve more with less in the face of belt tightening.

The Importance of Realism

Downturns bring into focus prudence and caution when it comes to new investments. For IT decision-makers, this invariably means accounting for organisational limitations as they draw up their modernisation strategies. It is crucial to have a clear idea on where these limitations are and what transformation projects are achievable to mitigate recessionary risks.

In fact, even in boom cycles, returns on IT spend are closely scrutinised and expected to deliver instant results. It is worth remembering that even useful projects can fall foul to bad timing and a poorly thought-out approach. Organisations should, instead, refocus their energies on projects that have shorter time frames. With difficult times potentially on the horizon, now is the best time to prioritise projects that deliver tangible results quickly at every touchpoint and enable shorter time-to-value.

IT leaders must also be equipped to grasp the inherent risks involved in each modernisation project to ensure value is created and not diminished. At the end of the day, modernisation projects should free developers to innovate and generate new offerings faster. Not only does this demonstrate value in business terms, it also shows that the company ties employee productivity to growth, which won’t just benefit the bottom line but also boost talent retention.

This also enables organisations to evaluate what is working and what isn’t, arming them to continually improve internal processes and differentiate them from competitors. Not only does that position the business to navigate the complexities of current challenges, but equips them to be leaner and future-ready.

Integration is Essential for Agility in a Hunker-Down Economy

It is often said that data is the lifeblood of a business. Indeed, decisions based on poor data quality often result in misdirected action. While recovery may be more achievable in times of less acute economic uncertainty, the current situation is one of fine margins between success and failure. 

The key to having trustworthy, actionable data is connectivity and integration. And successful integration projects rest on having the right tools to keep costs in check. This is especially pertinent given the ever-growing volumes of data businesses hold today. Truly leveraging this can be achieved via a robust integration platform as a service (iPaaS). From facilitating end-to-end integrations in hybrid application ecosystems to complex data tracking and reporting, iPaaS can help organisations bridge the divide between data and action, to meet market demands.

Not only does an effective iPaaS enable new capabilities within an existing product, it can orchestrate data for business development, as well as accelerate automation and UI-driven customer journeys. All this while reducing technical complexity and shortening the time frame for modernisation projects. In other words, long-term projects can become much shorter-term ones. Through the standardisation of iPaaS, organisations also become more flexible and can modify deployments where necessary to raise output via faster development and easier maintenance.

In fact, a recent Forrester study revealed that a top-of-the-line iPaaS has the potential to speed up integration development times by 65 percent. Furthermore, the study also found that those organisations surveyed were able to increase returns by more than 410 percent, with results being yielded within half a year.

These numbers emphasise the added flexibility, efficiency and risk mitigation intelligent integration solutions offer. For decision-makers pursuing modernisation in these times, powering the future of the business rests on not getting stuck at transformation chokepoints. The only way to do that is to connect everything within and beyond your organisation to eliminate silos and move at digital speed. 

By David Irecki, Director of Solutions Consulting, APJ at Boomi

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