Who saw that coming? And I’m not just talking about the Iceland result. As the consequences of Cameron’s ill judged gamble become clear, the spectre of 2008 is stalking the land. Confronted by the real possibility of a return to recession, it is vital that businesses continue to invest in ICT and push on with their digitisation strategies. Survey after survey show that organisations still have a long way to go in this regard. Too many workflws remain slow, labour-intensive and paper-based, and where processes are digitised, they are often done so in a piecemeal fashion that prevents organisations from reaping the full benefis of their investment. On page 15 we explain what Fujitsu is doing to encourage more organisations, especially small and medium-sized businesses, to implement enterprise-wide digitisation strategies.
Another trend that emerged from the last recession is managed print services (MPS). The promise of lower costs, a smaller carbon footprint and improved effiiency struck a chord with businesses desperate to economise without laying off workers or damaging their competitiveness. MPS proved particularly popular with enterprises and medium-sized businesses. New offerings from Epson and Samsung (see page 19) extend the benefis to smaller businesses. With three and fie year contracts on the table, it is important to consider the effects of your digitisation strategies on future print volumes. Otherwise, your MPS could turn out to be a false economy.
The advantage of investing in IT to improve effiiency and cut costs is that savings achieved may give forward-thinking organisations more scope to continue to support employees by creating more comfortable working environments (see page 38). It is possible to devise cost justifiations for investment in furniture, lighting, catering etc., but they are inexact and easy to ignore when hard investment choices need to be made. Businesses should avoid this temptation. As the workforce ages, the quality of the working environment is likely to become an increasingly important factor in addressing the UK’s poor productivity levels
James Goulding, Editor, firstname.lastname@example.org