Get All Access for $5/mo

6 Ways to Effectively Navigate Market Turbulence in the IT World Continue to innovate and keep your business running profitably even during economic volatility.

By Steve Taplin Edited by Russell Sicklick

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Technology evolves rapidly, bringing some significant challenges to the IT department. Modern CIOs, CTOs and IT leaders should adequately prepare for changes to remain relevant and competitive through these challenges.

More businesses are increasing their dependence on technology. The approach that continues to prove successful for most companies is to outsource the IT services in areas that are not part of their core competency. Outsourcing these areas or utilizing staff augmentation, which is a specialized form of utilizing outsourcing resources, is critical.

Inflation is another primary concern as production costs are cutting profits for many businesses. To succeed, IT leaders must push the boundaries and create solutions to remain afloat.

As technology changes, the challenges could present the perfect opportunity for IT leaders to deliver more business value than ever. Successful IT leaders identify these changes and promptly adapt to these evolving challenges. Here are a few measures to remain in business even as the world recovers from an economic recession:

Related: How Tech Can Succeed In Current Market Conditions

1. Find and retain talent with modern skills

The rapid growth of new technologies such as machine learning, AI and data science are becoming vital skills in the business world. And as a result, more businesses could face an IT skills gap where the supply of qualified IT professionals does not match the necessary IT skills. While most IT firms have a digital strategy, only a few have the skills to deliver these strategies.

The big challenge for CIOs is to bridge this gap while operating at full speed to retain a competitive edge. One way to do this is to pay a premium for quality skills or outsource IT consultants while you scout for new talents.

2. Learn what works for your business

Use a data-driven approach to mitigate business risks and generate profits. Gather enough information before making any significant changes to your company. Assess the facts, metrics and data you have to guide strategic decisions that align with your business goals, objectives and initiatives.

Data and analytics are always crucial to an IT company's success. The pandemic served as a wake-up call for most businesses to step up their data efforts. Forbes reports a sharp increase in data collection in the past decade, from 1.2 trillion GB to 59 trillion GB. But only a fraction of businesses tap into this data's potential to realize business success.

3. Allocate a reasonable budget to data management

Set aside a different budget for data initiatives such as data analytics and machine learning. The special budget allocation could translate to substantial cost savings through proper implementation. It also simplifies things when your stakeholders are empowered to work with data when making decisions. Amid a rapidly changing IT world, strong data practices will be essential for the new age of doing business.

Related: Trends that Will Shape The IT Industry in Coming Years

4. Set up a ransomware strategy

CIOs and CTOs must take a proactive approach to combat the risk of a ransomware attack. Malware software holds your business ransom by encrypting files on an infected network or computer and making them inaccessible.

And so, you're forced to pay ransom to restore the file access. Unfortunately, these attacks are on the rise and can cause serious downtime for your services while you resolve these issues. Cyber attacks are lucrative, as attackers realize that companies would rather pay a ransom than lose their confidential business documents.

IT leaders can't wait for a system attack to make a plan. A ransomware strategy is a top priority for top CEOs. It's for those who want to keep valuable information away from prying eyes and prevent business downtime.

5. Practice innovation leadership

Innovation leadership combines different techniques for motivating employees to develop creative ideas for creating innovative products and services. The innovation leader supports the company's mission and vision to achieve the desired results.

As new technologies and processes emerge, organizations are innovative to ensure their continued success and have a competitive edge amid uncertain market conditions. IT companies will likely struggle or even go out of business without visionary leadership.

Urgent challenges that call for innovation include:

  • Working with limited resources

  • Meeting business needs quickly

  • Creating specific solutions in the form of products and services that are not currently in the market

  • Embrace decentralized software

Cloud computing is here to revolutionize business, and most organizations are quickly adopting it. Software as a Service (SaaS) offers specific functionalities that easily integrate with your business model and provide in-built applications to support your work.

Additionally, since cloud services are subscription-based, you eliminate the extreme financial risk of having to build one in-house. You will also not incur the high cost of setting up a complex IT infrastructure at your business premises.

Integrating SaaS into your business activities will also give you much flexibility. Since your apps and documents have external hosting, you can easily change your usage plan. This includes bandwidth and space requirements to suit your needs. You can also access your software remotely from any location as long as you have an internet connection.

And you won't have to worry about data loss and downtimes. The cloud backs up your software so that you can restore it when you want.

Related: Closing the Skills Gap Through Innovation

6. Capitalize on consistency

When you are consistent in your business, you can quickly gain valuable insights into your market, learn from your mistakes and possibly identify a new market niche. Keep learning from market insights through the good, the bad and the ugly. Consistency will help you identify challenges and, in turn, opportunities that you can turn into a lucrative business idea.

The final takeaway

Technology managers are used to rapid change. As new software hits the market, old ones evolve. And at times, market uncertainty could have little to do with the IT industry, yet affect your business performance.

As a technology leader, you must be highly adaptable. You need to quickly assess and reevaluate your business strategies to ensure you continue to innovate and keep your business running profitably, even during economic volatility.

Steve Taplin

CEO of Sonatafy Technology

Steve Taplin is the CEO of Sonatafy Technology (www.sonatafy.com), a premier nearshore software-development-services firm that provides its clients with expertise in cloud solutions, web and mobile applications, ecommerce, big data, DevOps practices, QA, IoT and machine learning.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Business Solutions

Increase Productivity with This Microsoft 365 Subscription, Now $25 Off

It can make the entrepreneur life a lot easier.

Business News

Apple Pay Later Is Ending. Here's What's Taking Its Place.

The program was available for less than a year.

Leadership

This Artist Answered a Businessman's 'Powerful' Question — Then His Work Became 'the Poster Child for Juneteenth': 'Your Network Really Becomes Your Net Worth'

Reginald Adams was the executive director of a Houston-based art museum for more than a decade before he decided to launch his own public art and design firm.

Leadership

Harvard Business School Professor Says 65% of Startups Fail for One Reason. Here's How to Avoid It.

Team alignment isn't nice to have -- it's critical for running a successful business.

Business News

Here's What Companies Are Open and Closed on Juneteenth 2024

Since it became a holiday in 2021, Juneteenth has been recognized by some major corporations as a paid day off.

Growing a Business

I Hit $100 Million in Annual Revenue by Being More Transparent — Here Are the 3 Strategies That Helped Me Succeed

Three road-tested ways to be more transparent and build relationships that can transform your business — without leaving you feeling nightmarishly over-exposed.