Cloud computing trends for 2023 show sovereign cloud solutions, FinOps, XaaS, AI, and cloud-native strategies are all on the rise.
Just as businesses began to return to some semblance of normal operations after COVID, they’ve been hit with new challenges. Faced with record inflation, recession fears, and global conflict, companies continue to revisit their strategies and adjust the ways they operate.
They’re implementing new IT solutions and turning to IT service providers to help them gain agility, boost efficiency, and remain competitive. Let’s look at some top ways IT can help businesses navigate a tough economy.
IT to the rescue: 9 practical examples
From better security to smooth e-commerce and streamlined work processes, IT solutions and partners can help a business remain resilient with strong depth of technical knowledge, project execution, and problem-solving skills to enable high-value solutions and rapid return on investment.
Data exploitation is a major concern as cybercrime is rising with every passing day. Businesses need new IT technologies to help them scale and keep up with ever-changing cyber risks.
Small businesses are particularly at risk and vulnerable to cyber extortion. During the pandemic, cybercrime increased by 600%. Businesses that lack effective safety measures are going to bear the brunt. Being a victim of cybercrime can also damage the trust of your stakeholders and customers.
Consumers are sticking with the online shopping habits they acquired during the pandemic, when many countries imposed complete lockdowns. Technology enabled online shopping, contactless purchases, and digital payment options, which helped consumers and businesses alike. Businesses that were ahead of the curve came out on top.
According to Statista, retail e-commerce sales totaled around $5.2 trillion U.S. dollars worldwide in 2021. That number is expected to grow to $8.1 trillion dollars by 2026.
E-commerce solutions help brands consolidate management of orders and also manage digital and brick-and-mortar stores. This technology streamlines order management by directing them to the nearest store for fast shipping. Automated updates of stock help businesses manage their inventories to boost customer satisfaction.
ERP solutions ensure that traders have an omnichannel presence, from virtual and physical stores to online market stations, social media, and every channel that’s operated on the internet. This helps retailers manage their processes efficiently while enabling customer engagement across several sales channels.
Most small-scale businesses have limited resources and cannot afford expensive automated machines related to cash transactions. They can use modern digital payment solutions for in-store purchases. Now, you can even receive payments with the tap of a credit card or debit card.
Chatbots use machine learning to copy human interaction and deliver solutions to written or spoken queries. Chatbots offer 24×7 customer assistance for a better user experience. It ensures that the client’s purchase journey stays on the right track.
Automatic self-service checkout technology helps businesses improve employee safety and customer experience. Initially, it was utilized for security reasons and to reduce costs. It’s now proven beneficial in limiting employee contact with cash that’s touched by numerous people. It also helps speed the checkout process for better CX.
Smart mirror technology helps consumers see how they would look in different apparel by reacting to their voice-over commands and hand gestures. This makes it easier for consumers to make a decision and also improves user experience.
Robotic process automation
Ongoing labor shortages in the wake of the pandemic has businesses looking for ways to increase efficiency. Robotic process automation (RPA) helps streamline repetitive tasks in the supply chain and increases productivity by giving employees time to focus on more demanding work.
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Putting it all together: Service provider benefits
While IT solutions provide innovation to help businesses improve operations and run smoothly, IT consulting services allow companies to redesign their IT infrastructure in order to meet clients’ changing needs and expectations.
Here are five IT service provider benefits:
- Reducing IT costs: Fixed IT consulting costs are converted into flexible IT costs. This provides businesses with the freedom of preparing a budget according to IT needs. It enables pay-per-use solutions, though you can also often pay on an hourly basis.
- Lower labor expense: Unless your business deals with IT core services, there’s no significant advantage to bearing the expenses of having IT professionals on staff. You’d also need to conduct training programs to ensure the efficiency of new hires, who would need time to learn the processes.
- Trained and experienced professionals: Reputable service providers recruit professionals who have valid certifications and years of experience. You don’t need to worry about recruiting the right professional, managing the crew, and bearing high overhead costs for your project.
- Quick implementation: A business can face various types of IT issues when implementing new solutions. Having a trained expert with the in-depth knowledge and experience speeds implementation.
- Reduce risk factors: Core IT service providers are fully aware of the risk factors in their domain. With them managing security and compliance, you can gain peace of mind.