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IT-driven resilience is key for Singaporean businesses to navigate economic turbulence

Mathivanan Venkatachalam
Mathivanan Venkatachalam • 4 min read
IT-driven resilience is key for Singaporean businesses to navigate economic turbulence
Rather than viewing IT as a cost centre, it should be perceived as a strategic enabler that can drive tangible business outcomes. Photo: Unsplash
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In the midst of geopolitical and economic uncertainties, strategic IT investments can emerge as a beacon of resilience for businesses looking to weather the storm. As Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong acknowledges earlier this year the less favourable external environment, organisations must align their IT strategies with business goals to mitigate the impact of economic turbulence.

Aligning IT with business goals for resilience  

Major analyst firms, such as Forrester, highlight the need for strategic alignment between IT initiatives and overarching business objectives, and this becomes paramount amidst economic challenges. Rather than viewing IT as a cost centre, organisations should perceive it as a strategic enabler that can drive tangible business outcomes. The key lies in making IT spending a deliberate, focused effort, directing resources toward technologies that contribute directly to enhancing digital experiences and, consequently, business resilience.

Driving business outcomes with technology  

In 2024, we believe these key technologies will play a pivotal role in enabling organisations to drive meaningful business outcomes and maintain a competitive edge.

1. Artificial intelligence (AI)

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AI stands at the forefront of transformative technologies, allowing organisations to automate processes, gain actionable insights, and enhance decision-making. By strategically deploying AI, businesses can streamline operations, optimise efficiency, and deliver personalised digital experiences for their customers.

2. Cloud computing  

Cloud computing provides the agility and scalability necessary for businesses to adapt to the changing economic landscape. By migrating to the cloud, organisations can optimise costs, increase operational flexibility, and ensure the seamless delivery of products and services. Cloud solutions empower businesses to scale up or down based on demand, promoting financial efficiency.

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3. Automation  

Automation serves as a force multiplier for organisations striving to achieve operational excellence. By automating repetitive or time-consuming tasks, organisations free up time for employees to focus on strategic initiatives. From back-end processes to customer-facing interactions, automation enhances efficiency and agility, key factors of resilience in challenging economic conditions.

Managing complexity and optimising costs with full-stack observability  

As organisations embrace these transformative technologies, managing the complexity of IT ecosystems becomes crucial. Full-stack observability emerges as a strategic imperative, providing comprehensive visibility into every layer of IT operations—from the user experience and applications to infrastructures, networks, and security.

Full-stack observability is not just about monitoring; it is also about gaining insights that drive informed decision-making. Given that almost every IT component plays a critical role, organisations need to understand how changes in one area impact the entire system. By adopting full-stack observability, businesses can proactively identify issues, optimise performance, and ensure seamless digital experiences for users.

Strategic IT spending: A roadmap for resilience  

It is important to tackle IT spending with a deliberate focus on technologies that enhance digital experiences, drive operational efficiency, and contribute to long-term business resilience.

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1. Evaluate the impact on digital experiences  

Before making any IT investment, organisations should carefully evaluate the potential impact on digital experiences. Whether it is implementing AI for personalised customer interactions or migrating to the cloud for enhanced accessibility, every investment should contribute directly to superior digital experiences.

2. Prioritise technologies based on business goals  

Not all technologies are created equal. Businesses should prioritise technologies based on their alignment with overarching business goals. For instance, if enhancing customer engagement is a top priority, investments in AI for chatbots or automated customer support should take precedence.

On the other hand, if cost optimisation is a key concern, then organisations can leverage automation to scale up their computing or storage resources (like VMs, RAIDs, hyperconverged infrastructure clusters, and container-centric microservices) during high load periods, such as big sales days for e-commerce. Automation also lets organisations automatically scale down to save costs after a considerable drop in the number of users or based on a predefined schedule.

3. Ensure continuous adaptation and optimisation  

The economic landscape is dynamic, requiring organisations to adapt continuously and optimise their IT strategies. Organisations should regularly assess the effectiveness of their deployed technologies, make the necessary adjustments, and explore emerging solutions that align with their evolving business objectives.

A prosperous future led by tech-driven resilience  

The time is now for organisations in Singapore to accelerate innovation and technology adoption to build resilient businesses.

By embracing AI, leveraging the power of the cloud, incorporating automation, and adopting full-stack observability, organisations can navigate complexity, optimise costs, and build a foundation for long-term success in the ever-changing economic landscape. In the face of challenges, the integration of technology into business processes becomes a beacon of hope, empowering organisations to not just survive but thrive in the digital age.

Mathivanan Venkatachalam is the vice president of ManageEngine

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