Four ways businesses can achieve more despite load shedding

Issue 2/3 2023 Infrastructure, Power Management

Mandy Duncan.

It’s become an integral part of the average South African’s daily routine – constantly checking the EskomSePush app for the latest load shedding schedule. We rarely stop to think of the IT infrastructure that’s needed for us to quickly access the most recent update and continue with the rest of our day. And so, the irony is that while businesses are looking to cut back on IT spend to cope with the economic impact of power cuts – load shedding is yet another reason why organisations simply can’t afford to delay their digital transformation and forego the associated efficiencies.

Over the past few years, load shedding has become the single-biggest hindrance to GDP growth in the country. And as the ramifications of load shedding continue to undermine profitability, business costs have become the number one risk to their stability.

A clear trend we’re seeing as power cuts worsen is a slow-down in IT spending, particularly as organisations reroute budget to backup power in the form of generators or solar batteries. Indeed, more than a quarter of South African CIOs say their IT budgets either remained flat or decreased in 2022, and another 38% say they’ve increased only to accommodate inflation.

At the same time, the expectations for IT and the wireless network get bigger and more complicated all the time. IT leaders are under pressure to increase day-to-day efficiencies in a secure and sustainable way, while also driving product innovation and creating room for new revenue opportunities. And all this while navigating shrinking budgets and a growing power crisis.

But the good news is there are ways of making your IT budget stretch further without compromising on your digital transformation objectives. A cloud-managed network solution, for example, can help you reduce ongoing expenses and incur costs only as and when needed.

Here are four ways a cloud-managed network will enable businesses to achieve more despite load shedding.

Make IT more efficient

Connectivity challenges are still run of the mill for many businesses, with the IT team often at the receiving end of regular complaints about the Wi-Fi being down. A cloud-managed network comes embedded with tools to handle reactive tasks on behalf of your IT team. This ultimately saves the network team significant time responding to problems, trying to figure out where they are occurring and then recreating them in the field before responding. Instead, the cloud-managed service will give them immediate insight into what’s causing the problem and enable them to keep the network up and secure with much less effort, allowing IT to be as productive as possible, spending more time on activities that can have a bigger impact on the business and potentially drive greater revenue. Not to mention the amount of frustration this saves.

Spread out costs over time

Adopting a cloud-based management platform will also enable your business to shift from hardware-based infrastructure that requires heavy capex investment to an opex model. It’s a way of running your IT that is much more budget-friendly because you can spread your expenses over time and spend on additional capacity as and when it’s needed. Essentially your business will start saving money immediately. What’s more you can take the budget that would originally have been spent upfront and direct it towards other activities that will have a greater effect on the bottom line.

Preserve your investment

The level of flexibility that comes with a cloud-managed network means you can adapt as your business needs change. Ultimately, this helps you avoid having to replace all your management hardware, thereby losing your initial investment in that infrastructure. With the pace at which business is evolving, this can end up creating significant cost savings over the long run.

Save on energy costs

With less management hardware to worry about, you’ll also be using less energy and power to cool the appliances, which helps with cost savings, especially during times when you’re having to rely on backup power solutions. At the same time, the IT team will save in time and effort, spending fewer hours maintaining the rack and upgrading the system on a regular basis.

Shifting to a managed network service with a partner like Aruba can give you a network experience that works in line with your budget and doesn’t compromise reliability, performance or security.

While it might be tempting for businesses to delay IT spending while they ride out the storm of power cuts, load shedding isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. A sound long-term strategy for success needs to factor in the ways in which technology can help your business cut costs today while also helping to make your business more profitable tomorrow. Load shedding isn’t a reason to avoid investing in technology but rather a reason to reassess how you invest in that technology.

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