It is well accepted today that many of the global economies are facing a slowdown. The combined effect of the mortgage crisis, energy prices and consequent meltdown of Wall Street have taken their toll as well as the resilient economies like China and India. The financial services industry is worst hit, while other sectors including IT, auto and retail are on the downturn.
To beat a recession, companies must manage through it with minimal injury, usually through cost-cutting. However, it is also a time to emerge stronger, growing into new markets, strengthening supply chains and developing innovative business models. Whatever companies strategic objectives, communications technologies and services can play a critical role in helping corporations navigate through the uncertain times as well as prepare them for tomorrow.
Traditionally, businesses have focused on cost reduction during a recession. Global expansion and collaboration do add new administrative and marketing costs and create a situation where businesses have to find new avenues for improving profitability. There is also a need to be increasingly conscious of the impact of business activities on the environment. Conserving energy and carbon emissions, along with costs, is the primary mantra in current times. The emergence of hosted or managed services for communications services and applications enables businesses to expand their capabilities without many of the associated costs and overheads.
Enterprise applications including enterprise resource planning (ERP), messaging and security offered by service providers, ensures that all stakeholders can have a seamless experience, irrespective of location and access mechanism. Managed services, such as messaging and security, not only reduce operating costs but also free up valuable capital resources. The managed services model creates greater focus on core, market-facing business strategies and processes by letting specialist service providers manage the non-core activities. Similarly, data centre consolidation and outsourcing can provide major savings through scale of real-estate, power and management. Furthermore, virtualisation provides multiplier savings in terms of capex utilisation, flexibility, power efficiency, disaster recovery efficiency, and so on.
Developing countries, growing at more than 8.6 per cent per annum over the next five years, provide significant new market opportunities for large corporations that face demand saturation in the developed countries. This rapid growth, in addition to the fact that 80 per cent of the global population will be in emerging economies, makes these markets a must-enter for most multinationals. Global expansion will result in globally distributed teams based on the availability of best resources to run global businesses. It is critical that companies create real-time collaboration mechanisms across the extended organisation for the creation of new products and services, taking them to market ahead of competition.
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