EU businesses favour flexible IT purchasing strategies
With the pandemic having rapidly accelerated the digital transformation of businesses across Europe, new research reveals a significant shift in the purchase and acquisition of technology for companies in 2021.
More than half (54%) of EU businesses will move away from using large capital expenditure to acquire IT assets in 2021, favouring instead more flexible procurement models, research from Finnish technology lifecycle management provider 3Step reveals.
The research, compiled from a survey of 1,000-plus IT decision makers , demonstrates how businesses are increasingly prioritising the ability to replace assets easily when making purchase choices, in order to meet ever-changing circumstances.
The uncertainties and changes caused by COVID-19, including increased remote working, has demonstrated the need for more agile solutions, with businesses that had previously adopted a more flexible approach to IT acquisition better able to cope with the disruption.
A majority (89%) of companies that loan IT assets were able to make quick IT investments early last year, enabling employees to make the necessary shift to working from home, compared to 75% of businesses who own their IT assets outright.
“For many companies, the cost of shifting to mobile working require significant capital outlay, at a time when businesses are under unprecedented financial pressure,” says Carmen Ene, CEO at 3stepIT. “This traditional cash ownership model places a huge burden on businesses and is a fundamental block to better performance.”
Therefore, as organisations adapt and rest for the year ahead, IT purchasing strategies is likely to be dominated by demand for flexible solutions with mobility remaining an urgent IT priority.
BNP Paribas is one company that’s recently procured a more flexible approach, signing up to a series of sustainable IT solutions across corporate Europe.
“By prioritising access and flexibility, businesses kickstart a process of IT management that lowers the total cost of ownership, accelerates digital transformation, and offers greater flexibility, ultimately ensuring that employees have the right technology in place to drive growth,” adds Ene.
5 minutes with... Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, CEO, Tapoly
Founder and CEO of award-winning insurtech firm Tapoly, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy heads up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, winning industry awards, innovating in the digital insurance space, and leading with inclusivity.
Here, Business Chief talks to Janthana about her leadership style and skills.
What do you do, in a nutshell?
I’m founder and CEO of Tapoly, a digital MGA providing a full stack of commercial lines insurance specifically for SMEs and freelancers, as well as a SaaS solution to connect insurers with their distribution partners. We build bespoke, end-to-end platforms encompassing the whole customer journey, but can also integrate our APIs within existing systems. We were proud to win Insurance Provider of the Year at the British Small Business Awards 2018 and receive silver in the Insurtech category at the Efma & Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards 2019.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I try to be as inclusive a leader as possible. I’m committed to creating space for everyone to shine. Many of the roles at Tapoly are performed by women and I speak at industry events to encourage more people to get involved in insurance/insurtech. Similarly, I always try to maintain a growth mindset. I think it’s important to retain values to support learning and development, like reliability, working hard and punctuality.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
Build your network and seek advice. As a leader, you need smart people around you to help you grow your business. It’s not about personally being the best, but being able to find resources and get help where needed.
How do you see leadership changing in a COVID world?
I think the pandemic has proven the importance of inclusive leadership so that everyone feels supported and valued. It’s also shown the importance of being flexible as a leader. We’ve had to remain adaptable to continue delivering high levels of customer service. This flexibility has also been important when supporting employees as everyone has had individual pressures to deal with during this time. Leaders should continue to embed this flexibility within their organisations moving forward.
They say ‘from every crisis comes opportunity’, what opportunities do you see?
The past year has been challenging, but it has also proven the importance of digital transformation in insurance. When working from home was required, it was much harder for insurers to adjust who had not embedded technology within their operating processes because they did not have data stored in the cloud and it caused communication delays with concerned customers at a time when this communication should have been a priority, which ultimately impacts the level of customer satisfaction. This demonstrates the importance of what we are trying to achieve at Tapoly in driving digitalisation in insurance and making communication between insurers and distribution partners seamless.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
Start sooner, don’t be afraid to take (calculated) risks and make sure you raise enough money to get you through the initial seed stage.