Australia’s digital transformation agenda has rapidly accelerated as a result of COVID-19, forcing many businesses to steer away from legacy systems to adapt. However, for most organisations, the race to digital transformation has resulted in temporary, ad hoc solutions that are not sustainable.

    Nicholas Holmes, Equigroup’s Vice President of Sales  shares his thoughts on the challenges for businesses in today’s landscape. 

    Australian organisations have largely realised that the way they do business is unlikely to return to the way it was before the pandemic. Therefore, they are now looking to longer-term solutions that will consolidate operations to support competitiveness, scalability and growth.

    In 2020, Australian businesses needed to quickly invest in ad hoc solutions so they could adapt to an instantly changed business environment. This year is about consolidating technology and cementing permanent change so that businesses can return to a path of stability and longer-term growth.

    However, several forces in the technology industry are now converging to create a perfect storm for any organisation wishing to upgrade their workplace technology. These forces are causing significantly longer lead times for new technology orders to be fulfilled. The global semiconductor chip shortage, new operating system requirements, and increasing security risks are all additional roadblocks for businesses to navigate when it comes to new technology investments. At the same time, businesses need to consider and effectively manage the costs of technology investments throughout the asset lifecycle.

    Read on to find out why business decision-makers should engage their technology partners and plan IT procurement now before it impacts business performance.

    Nicholas Holmes, Equigroup VP Sales

    Four key technology investment challenges in the new normal

    1. Global chip shortage

    The explosion of personal smart devices combined with the rapid global shift to remote work has created one of the worst global semiconductor chip shortages in the history of chip manufacturing. Major chip manufacturers such as the Taiwanese Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC), Nvidia and Intel believe the ongoing chip shortage could extend as far as 2023.[1]

    The demand for chips continues to exceed supply despite investments into the expansion of chip manufacturing. Currently, the average wait time for chip deliveries is around 18 weeks.[2] These shortages, combined with backlogs in Chinese shipping delivery ports, are impacting the development and availability of components for new technology throughout the supply chain. This means that organisations considering a technology investment in 2022 could face wait times of around four months or more.

    1. The need for new operating systems

    Rapidly increasing data loads and the need to securely connect geographically dispersed teams has resulted in new operating system requirements. Windows 11 promises to meet the needs of the new digital business environment but, even if a PC is less than three years old, it may not be compatible with Windows 11. The demand for Windows 11 is based on the high levels of security, reliability and compatibility that it provides. For example, requirements of Windows 11 are reducing malware by 60 per cent and achieving 99.8 per cent system reliability.[3]

    Organisations with Windows 10 are only supported by Microsoft for another four years, so there is likely to be a scramble within the next couple of years as businesses transition to the Windows 11 upgrade and the technology required to support it.

    1. Growing cybersecurity risk

    Cybercriminals have always been one step ahead of organisations when it comes to technology. Unfortunately, now that many organisations have transitioned to the anytime, anywhere workplace, there is a much larger attack surface for unscrupulous actors. For example, hackers are using old technology to infiltrate company systems. Recently, a team of researchers from CyberNews successfully hacked approximately 28,000 printers and had them print a five-step guide to keeping hackers at bay. Using a search engine called Shodan, the researchers found more than 800,000 printers around the globe that were vulnerable.[4]

    On average in Australia, a cyberattack is reported every 10 minutes[5], so organisations need to maintain technology that continually helps protect business data and systems from both current and emerging cyberthreats.

    1. E-waste

    As organisations adapt to new workplace models that require new technology investments, there will be greater onus on businesses to sustainably manage e-waste. The Global E-Waste Monitor 2020 reported that, by 2030, e-waste was expected to be almost double that produced in 2014.[6] Therefore, businesses that plan to make new technology purchases in 2022 need to consider not only how to sunset legacy technology, but also manage the lifecycle of new technology, to help reduce e-waste.

    How planning and partnerships resolve technology challenges

    Organisations need to save time and cost, and mitigate risk when it comes to investing in technology. There is a fine balance between how much technology costs compared to the value it delivers back to the business throughout its lifecycle.

    To mitigate risks and avoid the challenges involved in technology investment, businesses need to plan and implement a technology lifecycle solution that ensures:

    • the cost of technology delivers an optimum return on investment by spreading the technology investment across the useful life of the assets involved
    • technology is kept up to date with a regular refresh regimen that helps the business maintain optimum levels of security, reliability and compatibility with other cloud-based and on-premise systems
    • affordability of end user technology that is budgeted as a monthly operating expense to avoid a large capital technology investment, and instead preserve business capital for growth opportunities
    • regular orders can be applied against a master agreement that is negotiated once to quickly and easily maintain current IT assets, and avoid a big bang refresh approach that could be impacted by technology manufacturing supply issues
    • streamlined management of every technology asset throughout its entire lifecycle. This includes managing the costs and risks of technology refurbishment or disposal, and end-of-use data sanitisation.

    The most effective way to plan new technology investments, manage costs and gain an optimum return on investment throughout the IT asset lifecycle is through a trusted technology management partner.

    A trustworthy, innovative and experienced technology lifecycle solution partner can help ensure that an organisation’s technology is available when needed, and delivers value to the business throughout its lifecycle through solid planning and IT asset management.

    For more than 30 years, Equigroup has helped businesses of all sizes to efficiently manage their technology investments through intelligent financial structures, innovative tools, and seamless lifecycle management services. The Equigroup team has expertise in the planning, deployment and management of technology lifecycle solutions across industries such as healthcare and education, within commercial organisations, and government entities. This includes providing a carbonZER0 option that allows companies to achieve a carbon-neutral IT fleet by offsetting carbon emissions that are generated during the production, transportation, use and refurbishment or disposal of IT assets.

    To learn more about how Equigroup can help your organisation effectively plan and manage technology requirements for 2022 and beyond, contact your Equigroup technology finance specialist today.

     

    References

    [1] https://beebom.com/tsmc-nvidia-and-intel-say-global-chip-shortage-will-continue-till-2023/  

    [2] https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-06-22/wait-times-for-chips-stretch-further-deepening-shortage

    [3] https://www.xda-developers.com/windows-11-defending-system-requirements/

    [4] https://www.forbes.com/sites/leemathews/2020/08/31/800000-printers-vulnerable-28000-hacked/?sh=3b7812cbd8a9 

    [5] https://www.cyber.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-09/ACSC-Annual-Cyber-Threat-Report-2019-20.pdf

    [6] http://ewastemonitor.info/

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