Business IT support services are crucial at the best of times. During a recession, your IT infrastructure needs to enhance the efficiency of your business so it is profitable.
The Bank of England is expecting a recession in 2023. And whilst consumers have already started to curb their spending following the price hikes in fuel and energy, 70% of small businesses in the UK are not fully prepared for the drop-off in revenue.
The same report indicates that 41% of businesses don’t have a business continuity plan that will see them through the recession.
There’s no doubt that some challenging decisions will need to be made in 2023. To survive a recession, businesses usually have to adapt in one way or another.
But to give you some optimism, some of the world’s top companies were established during the worst economic downturns; General Motors, Microsoft, Airbnb, Uber to name a few.
So how do businesses survive a recession?
History shows us that the best options are to either downscale, find a niche that helps you stay above water or upscale through an acquisition strategy and buy out your competitors.
Analysis performed by Gartner reveals that innovation and risk-taking outperform conservative strategies. Cost-cutting may feel like the most sensible approach, but sustaining a competitive edge produces more winners than losers.
And it seems today’s CEOs are taking the lead from history. A report conducted by Virgin Media O2 Business revealed that almost 50% of medium-sized businesses are turning to business IT support services to help drive innovation.
Micro Pro provides business IT support services that not only helps innovation but also look to cut costs. Our IT strategy can significantly lower your overall IT expenditure by consolidating technologies and automating or streamlining repetitive processes.
Business IT Strategy
No matter what industry you operate in, IT is at the forefront of every sector. And with business IT at the centre of operations, UK firms need an IT strategy that enables them to free up valuable resources and improve efficiency whilst simultaneously reducing the cost of software and hardware.
During a recession, more than ever, your IT infrastructure needs to align with your business objectives. That requires an IT strategy that defines how technology will streamline operations and help you to achieve your goals. A comprehensive IT strategy includes hardware and software management, vendor management, and risk management.
An IT strategy should start with an analysis of your existing IT infrastructure to determine where cost improvements can be made. It’s not unheard of for SMEs to overspend by as much as 8-10% on their IT infrastructure.
Performing IT analysis will enable you to evaluate potential options that will make your business dynamic and flexible – but always aligned with your business goals.
However, it’s also important that your IT environment obeys security and governance and doesn’t leave you short on storage space, devices and software that helps to make your operations run efficiently. The solutions you implement will need to improve performance and optimise availability.
Micro Pro not only take into account the cost of implementing an IT infrastructure, but also the long-term cost of ownership and management moving forward. We do this by performing period reviews to assess whether new solutions enhance your cost saving.
Business IT Support Services: Downsize Offices
Whilst cost-cutting has not been the best strategy in the past, business IT support services that specialise in today’s cloud technologies are pivotal in helping companies lower overheads without compromising productivity.
A recession is arguably the best time to take advantage of remoter working. If you prefer to pivot to a hybrid working model, downsizing offices can free up a significant amount of capital.
Recent studies show that remote working strategies reduce overheads and can improve productivity. In most cases, employees working from home are either more productive to sustain the same workload they did when working in an office environment.
The reports also reveal that remote workers are also less stressed, more focused and have better work-life balance. This all adds up to happier employees that are more likely to stay in their jobs – and staff retention could prove to be key in a recession.
Cloud computing solutions have shown they can reduce costs and increase efficiency compared to traditional business IT technologies. Adopting the cloud helps to make businesses more agile and dynamic. Plus they’re easier for remote working staff to implement on their own.
It’s no coincidence that cloud computing became the number one solution for companies during the Great Recession of 2007-2009. Cloud solutions give companies a pay-as-you-go option without having to commit capital upfront or commit to long-term contracts there is no guarantee you will see to the end.
Companies are also drawn by the flexibility to scale up and down quickly. Cloud technologies are quick and easy to deploy and just as simple to remove. Perhaps more importantly, you don’t have to pay for physical storage space.
On-premise servers are more costly to purchase and maintain than cloud services. You also need fewer IT professionals to maintain and service the equipment when something goes wrong. And if you take advantage of business IT support services, you can even save money that you would ordinarily spend on members of your IT team.
Over the last year, cloud technologies have helped companies to pivot to a hybrid working model and support Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies. With access to cloud-based apps and services in a single click, users can work from anywhere on any device. And without the commute will typically put in more hours and be more productive.
Cloud solutions also make a business more robust. Cloud-based software has built-in security solutions which help to secure your business network and can improve the functionality of your operations.
Interact with Customers
During a recession, more than ever, it’s important for businesses to do whatever they can to engage and interact with customers. As your competitors fall by the wayside, smart marketing strategies can enable you to soak up the trickle of consumer spending and acquire more customers that come available.
Consumers appreciate companies that understand their needs. This often means bringing your business online across channels that make it easier for your customers to interact with you. And there are plenty of digital technologies to help you build the bridge.
Whilst persisting with marketing campaigns is vital during a recession, your marketing has to be smarter, faster and more effective. And that requires understanding what your customers need.
Integrating Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software into your business IT strategy can help you to better understand your customers and keep track of sales pipelines.
CRMs are designed to give businesses an advantage when dealing with customers. The key benefit is to help you improve customer satisfaction but also enables you to resolve customer complaints swiftly.
In addition, CRMs can help you to monitor marketing campaigns. This enables you to see which campaigns are effective and which are underperforming. How you market your business and engage with customers could make a significant difference in surviving the recession.
Automated processing is becoming more efficient each year. Although there are still inconsistencies with automation, machine learning does eradicate inefficient manual jobs that are time-consuming. And when productivity and efficiency are your main objectives, automation can offer a vital solution during a recession.
Automation may not work for every company, but it can be central to survival for companies that have repetitive processes and mundane administrative tasks. The ability to streamline operations enables you to optimise productivity and meet compliance requirements.
The decision to implement automated software will be determined during IT analysis where you will be able to perform a cost analysis to determine whether automation will make you more profitable or whether it’s an expense that doesn’t really deliver any financial reward.
In best-case scenarios, automation can make your business more efficient and profitable whilst reducing the risk of lost revenue caused by human error and absenteeism.
When automation does benefit a company by improving process control and trimming manual labour, the software pays for itself. The consistency also makes it easier to quantify timing and cost and predict tight margins more accurately.
Business IT Support Services
The uncertainty that comes with a recession means you have to make the most of the resources that are available to you. Outsourcing your IT means you receive valuable support from qualified professionals and improve the efficiency of your business at the same time.
You may know from experience that finding the right IT talent is challenging at the best of times. Moreover specialists come with a premium salary. Partnering with a business IT service provider gives you access to a pool of talented IT professionals for a fraction of the cost involved in building an entire in-house team.
Micro Pro has been providing IT support services to businesses in London and beyond since 2007. Our senior management team are expert strategists and our award-winning IT support team in London is on-hand 24/7 to ensure that your IT issues are resolved promptly.
Don’t risk getting left behind in the recession. Call Micro Pro today and ask our business IT support specialists how we can help your business survive and thrive.