Middle East

How executives can resolve the differences in the technology’investment in growth’discussion

There is no doubt that local businesses have accelerated digital transformation overnight to accommodate the changing pandemic work patterns. Covid-19 demanded swift action, which is what we saw.According to a study from AppDynamics78% of UAE technicians surveyed pointed out that digital transformation projects were implemented within weeks, rather than the months or years that would have taken place before the pandemic.

The IT budget was directed towards cloud migration and rapid success to support business continuity. The board and executives have united to pursue two things: employee safety and short-term changes that protect the business from market turmoil. This was definitely necessary at the time, but senior management may find themselves trapped in a safe mindset that continues to defer long-term strategic investments.

Many organizations in the region have found a way to get back to normal. Nothing is the same as before the pandemic, but the stages of quick victory and fire extinguishing are behind us. Hybrid work has been largely established and accepted, and discussions are currently underway to refocus strategic investment. This has created a love triangle power struggle between the CEO, CFO, and CIO in many organizations. CEOs want to focus on revenue growth, but financial leaders are wary of heavy capital spending and want to stay budget conscious. Meanwhile, CIOs have been fighting for years to beat CEOs and CFOs, convincing them that the long-term technology strategies needed in the digital age require investment. In the early stages of the pandemic turbulence, CFO cases were easier to create and often won.

By 2022, the region will be in recovery mode, which means more competition. To compete, organizations need to identify where to invest to drive growth.

Business agility is a priority
Flexibility is important in the post-Covid technology environment as it allows senior management to build agile businesses. Legacy infrastructure does not provide this flexibility and agility and is insufficient to enable rapid pivoting to new opportunities. Therefore, investment in this area is essential. A Pure Storage survey found that 83% of decision makers are looking at agile strategies that are essential for effective innovation and growth.

Under these circumstances, not only will the CEO’s positive and growth-oriented perspective predominate, but the CIO’s contribution to future growth will be more acceptable. The pandemic has shown the value that IT teams can add to the enterprise. After technology proved to be crucial to the survival of local businesses, other business areas can now hear from the CIO about the role technology can play in the next chapter of the corporate story. increase.

According to a recent global study from ESGThe top three factors used to justify IT investment are the need to enhance cybersecurity, provide timely business intelligence, and enhance the customer experience. With these priorities, you can see that the long-term strategy is working. They show that they are aware of the risks to their business, such as ransomware attacks, lost opportunities, and inability to meet customer needs. In fact, the study found a direct correlation between technology investment, customer experience, and business growth.

Business-focused technology investment
Thankfully, leaders in both technology and business regions are aware of the value that technology adds and the problems it can solve. The best platforms and tools should empower companies to take action and become more competitive. This allows businesses to maintain relationships with their customers, partners and investors and add value to all stakeholders.

The rise of flexible consumption models as standard and cloud-like operating models provides good news for CFOs. This means that the cost of ownership is easy to calculate and predict, and the era of high capital spending is over. The As-a-Service model also allows growth-oriented CEOs and strategy-oriented CIOs to experiment with new tools and platforms. If they don’t work, remove them from outgoing calls because there is no long-term effort.

The CEO embraces investments that bring agility and the ability to adapt to customers in real time. Technologies that can be used like the cloud and scale up and down as needed will appeal to the CIO. CFOs are comforted by predictable and controllable growth-driven investments. As 2022 progresses, more and more regional companies will accept that they no longer have to push their growth strategies to the “future plans” pile. This can happen right now in a way that will please CFOs, CEOs, and CIOs as well.

Omar Akar is Regional Vice President of Pure Storage in the Middle East and Emerging Africa.

read: What can local B2B businesses learn from the B2C model?



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