Before the pandemic, applications such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and other virtual collaboration tools were not considered mandatory for how we work every day. Perhaps only marketing and sales and select other employees needed these types of applications, but then the majority of staff were sent home to work. Now, almost everyone in the company needs access to video conferencing and virtual collaboration solutions.
IT leaders could not have anticipated the large shift to remote working and virtual collaboration. They could not have predicted that the audio/video (AV) points, wireless access points (APs), and other infrastructure they invested in would be sitting unused in empty office buildings.
But the unpredictable happened, and it happened after IT leaders invested large portions of their CAPEX budget on supporting onsite work and business. If IT leaders could have predicted this shift caused by COVID-19, they would have invested CAPEX into solutions that made virtual work and business more seamless.
For many organizations, sustaining the business through the mandated social distancing and business closures meant acquiring more budget for their IT needs or waiting for their next budget and refresh cycles. These cycles are often every 3-5 years.
But is this uncertainty with IT road-mapping different from previous years?
IT road-mapping always comes with a level of uncertainty. It’s the nature of the fast-evolving, competitive era we now live in. Startups enter the market, customers want experiences introduced by other industries or your competitors, and technology manufacturers surprise everyone with new products and features.
Uncertainty escalated with COVID-19. There’s no debate. But uncertainty within IT planning is not going away when the pandemic ends. If anything, the level of uncertainty IT leaders experience will continue to increase.
Why A New IT Consumption Model Is Needed
IT leaders are tasked with responsibilities ranging from improving business functions through technology to reducing the cost of IT to increase business margins.
But many factors hinder their success, job security, and peace of mind.
These bullet points include only four of the seven factors we’ve identified that restrict IT leaders’ success through uncertainty.
Looking at the restrictive factors listed above, it begs us to ask: does success favor the businesses with the most capital? The companies that can consistently spend more than their budget? Rip and replace technology whenever business leaders please?
Not necessarily. It’s been said that fortune favors the bold. Fortune also favors open-minded and creative problem solvers.
What Does the Best IT Consumption Model Look Like?
To stay competitive and in business despite the uncertainty the market and world circumstances pose, IT leaders need the ability to acquire and deploy technology when they need it. Not when their budget cycles come about every 3-5 years.
The best option is to consume all your technology through a service-centric consumption model and pay only for what you use and when you use it.
For example, imagine having the ability to deploy and remove infrastructure as easy as subscribing/unsubscribing to monthly services. Imagine being able to provision and leverage capabilities like asset-tracking and way-finding on a month-to-month basis.
Now you can. Just like your favorite subscription services, you only pay for what you use when you use it.
Take Sam, for example, who is the IT leader for a company that plans to open new locations this year. Sam is troubled by how the pandemic and other market uncertainties may affect those launches.
What if he purchases the switches, AV, video conferencing licensing, and more infrastructure only for the opening to be postponed several months if not canceled altogether? He would prefer to leverage that budget for initiatives that will move forward.
With the subscription model, he only pays for the infrastructure when it’s used. If the new office launches are postponed or canceled, he returns that unneeded infrastructure and services and applies that budget to where it is needed in the following months. Sam hasn’t made a long-term investment and doesn’t own infrastructure that isn’t used or needed.
Uncertainty isn’t going away. That’s why IT leaders need to know all their options for how to best thrive through unprecedented times.
Download this free guide that helps IT leaders sustain business and reduce risk through uncertainty.
Following Sam’s journey, read how to