Why should I upgrade my Information Technology infrastructure now?
Money is cheap.
With interest rates at historic lows, the bar for return on capital expenditures is significantly lowered. Well planned and executed Information Technology upgrades, combined with carrier contract negotiations, will typically result in cost savings that far exceed the return on capital available though alternative investments.
Competition is intense.
To survive (or better yet prevail) you need to be better at managing costs and serving customers than your competitors. Your IT infrastructure can help you do both.
The productivity gains offered by IT are a documented fact. There is no question that having the right information at the right time helps your people make the most out of every transaction. Improving productivity, and the resultant ability to do more with less, drives down your costs. Proper network design and carrier contracts provide additional leverage. Obviously a lower cost structure enhances your ability to respond to competitive pricing pressures.
From a Customer perspective, service is critical. We all have experienced the frustration of interminable holds, waiting for powerless representatives only to be disconnected. The proper use of IT allows you to 1) manage your people better and 2) empower them to delight your customers.
The tech market will recover – eventually.
On the carrier side, the experience of the past decade has been continually declining rates. As demonstrated by WorldCom and Global Crossing this can’t continue indefinitely. At some point companies need to earn a profit in order to remain in business. As demand increases the surviving carriers will finally be in a position to firm up their pricing. Now is the time to lock in rates while they are at historic lows.
The same holds true for the hardware vendors. The industry has seen massive layoffs and other cost cutting steps, combined with the working off of excess inventories. At some point the market will turn around – as it has in every business cycle in history. Here again, the increasing demand will allow the vendors to firm up pricing.