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Surprises, upsets and trends in 2009

Ross O. Storey | March 3, 2009
SAS executive director, Asia Pacific, Don Cooper-Williams, shares his thoughts on how SAS remains confident despite the current global banking crisis.

Where institutions have compliance requirements, be it risk mitigation, anti-money laundering, fraud detection, or the need to optimise their operations, SAS solutions have been proven to meet these requirements. We continue to invest at all levels of our organisation and will remain close to our customers by maintaining our direct and local presence in all the countries where we operate.

In some instances, we have observed caution with regard to immediacy due to market nervousness. However, our outlook is positive for continued growth and profitability.

How will SAS be adapting its strategy for 2009 and what will be different from the approach in 2008? How would you describe the expected IT environment for this year?

Although change is a constant and we adapt readily to market forces, our commitments to our customers, R&D investments and direct selling approach remain as before. We have invested heavily in ensuring that we work closely with the leading system integrators in the region and believe that our collaboration is key to our growth strategies.

Customer satisfaction is one of our cornerstone values that is exemplified by the high level of customer retention we enjoy. A key focus is to assist our customers to weather the current financial situation by offering them analytical capability across their enterprises, and outcomes that will relieve them from regulatory burdens and can be used as further input to continue market competitiveness.

In addition, we bring key thought leaders from leading industries to present innovative solutions to counter the current market condition.

What do you think will define the environment for IT in 2009? What will dominate the thinking of enterprise IT decision-makers?

As stated above, there will be some mild panic to withdraw from large projects and to minimise expenditures which are not representing any opportunity for return on investment (ROI) in the short to medium term.

There will be some curb on employment and a new emphasis on redeployment and infrastructure remodelling to ensure that the essential services are delivered to the business. Outsourcing contracts will come under scrutiny, and suppliers will be required to deliver value and show real returns for their services.

IT decision-makers will see some reductions in budgets and therefore more scrutiny on procurement requests. In addition, there will be pressure to deliver to the business with more agility as the market changes seem to be still unfolding.

With the restructuring of organisations that are currently under siege, such as those in the BFSI sector, there will be the need to work more closely with the teams to align and enhance service levels. There will be a greater emphasis on cost containment and the extended use of PDAs and mobile computing, where the users are not customer-facing or revenue-generating (at the micro level).


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