This is a trying time for all of us: retail, real estate, manufacturing. The same is true for tech companies; if our clients aren’t doing well this impacts us too. Like everyone, we continue to watch the markets for stock, interest rates, and other movements to see where the bottom of this thing is.
Just as financial advisers are right in telling us not to sell our stocks, I like to convey the same patience and freedom from panic to my clients. Let’s optimize resource allocation but continue to play the long game. -Michael O’Neill
Technologies and the efficiencies developed on them are crucial for businesses to survive. The companies that don’t have modern resources and business continuity plans are really struggling. A lot of them are going to disappear. Some already have.
Key to Survival
Evaluate your expenditures: Do I need this? Is it essential? Does it make my business better? Properly done, technology lowers your operational cost per unit of output providing essential margin to keep you in business. Don’t stop building. Just make sure to build right.
Back to Basics
- Minimize all non-essential, fluff expenditures.
- Adopt first those systems which will make the most significant impact
- Divert CapEx into OpEx unless cash reserves can handily absorb a price premium for OpEx
- Invest in systems that reduce short and long run IT costs and the amount of labor required to run your business
- Don’t be penny-wise and pound-foolish; security, IT management, related incident resolution, and vCIO are essential.
High-Impact IT Investments
No, outsourcing isn’t a magic bullet. Yes, it can provide critical value-add to keep you in business. All firms are different; their needs are unique. Strongly consider bolstering your internal staff with critical outsourced services, expertise, and capacity. Look at Staff Augmentation to fill vacancies, provide redundancy, and inject new energy into IT operations. Evaluate bringing in subject matter experts to perform a critical project. For many firms, a full outsourced operation will improve all IT outcomes (i.e., performance, security, management, etc.) while providing anywhere from 20-70% cost relief on IT management spend.
Many firms were caught by surprise when, practically overnight, they needed to double or triple their Remote Desktop server farm. When they went to write a check for equipment and services they discovered firms had beat them to the punch. Servers and other computing equipment were being bought up and hoarded by panicked firms like toilet paper. Weeks or months out from getting the critical supplies, they were dead in the water. This was never the case for firms using the Azure Public Cloud. These firms were able to get multiples of new servers and storage in minutes by clicking the mouse a couple of times.
Our customers who were in Azure could, if they wanted to, spin up the equivalent of Watson in a few minutes. Unlimited firepower right at their fingertips. Their server closet is essentially the size of the Pentagon. -Joseph Marquette
When employees were sent home, they lost the ability to gather in conference rooms and to float between cubicles. Firms that relied on legacy platforms like Microsoft Exchange and file servers found it difficult to maintain, let alone increase, productivity. Firms that had already adopted Microsoft 365 didn’t have this problem. They could all be editing the same document at the same time while video conferencing or chatting. With autosave, versioning, and auditing built-in, productivity was improved. Using the free Teams subscription, they could share desktops, provide conference lines numbers for clients to call into, automatically transcribe meetings, and provide meeting recordings to participants who couldn’t make it. For firms with on-prem phone systems that had maxed out on trunks and conference lines, Microsoft Teams was a godsend.
Businesses sent workers home and said, “Go ahead, use your home desktop.” And that’s just what they did. They went to the Windows 7 device in their living room, a device formerly reserved for their children’s Fortnite addiction, and began accessing work files. And whatever the state of the security on that device, the firm inherited it. To keep you safe and compliant, all devices accessing corporate data should have a Security Operations Center agent monitoring for malicious activity. If the agent fails to install, chances are the device is infected. Once installed, you’ll be able to say the end-user and firm are protected confidently. With cybersecurity firms like Agile1 offering SOC free during the COVID19 epidemic, it’s a must. It immediately adds value to your bottom line and prevents a costly security incident that has the potential to take you down.
Financial Industry Insights You Won’t Find on Google
We spoke with several industry leaders in finance about the state of business credit. Here’s what you need to know and what they recommend:
- Take this opportunity to go back to your partners and vendors to ask for an increase in your credit line; let’s hope you don’t need it but better than to have it there today vs asking for it when you find yourself amidst a credit crunch
- Across the globe individuals, corporations, and nations are stockpiling cash and this demand for dollars is strengthening its purchasing power; we’re not greatly concerned about deflation and its impact to debt service but this demand is affecting interest rates
- While the federal funds rate has been slashed to essentially zero, don’t expect low-interest commercial loans
- With the economy grinding to a half and no clear end in sight, a surge in defaults is expected which translates to banks proactively increasing reserve ratios and having a more difficult time evaluating loan applicants’ true financial outlook
- As a rule of thumb, at the time of this post, loans up to $99k are 8-10%, loans $100k-$249k is 6-8%, and loans $250k+ are 5-6%
- It’s important to remember though: a) these rates could look low in six months, b) with the right vendor, there are no prepayment penalties and c) tax is added to the principal payment each month and is not included in the amount to finance
LEAD + PROTECT + SUPPORT
Accellis Technology Group is a Microsoft Gold Partner. We specialize in Managed IT, cybersecurity, and public cloud. Talk to one of our experts today.