// EDITOR ’ S QUESTION ?
S KUMAR SUBRAMANIA , SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT AT MAST CONSULTING
B usinesses , especially SMEs , had to scramble to adapt in the past 12 months or so ; due to COVID-19 and the new trends that have emerged in its aftermath – especially since they are likely to have a lasting impact . The next normal , and the changes it is driving , presents a whole new set of challenges and opportunities ; and adopting the right IT infrastructure will be essential , if businesses are to succeed in addressing such a rapid shift .
Many of these changes are the result of dramatic changes in customer behaviour . For instance , social distancing norms led to much longer queues than usual , at physical retail outlets and malls , forcing shoppers to move to digital platforms . Since the reopening of the economy , SMEs have realised that they will need to adopt advanced tech-enabled solutions that are faster and more agile to address supply chain redundancies , improve
NORMAL , AND THE CHANGES IT IS DRIVING , PRESENTS A WHOLE NEW SET OF CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES ; AND ADOPTING THE RIGHT IT INFRASTRUCTURE WILL BE ESSENTIAL , IF BUSINESSES ARE TO SUCCEED IN ADDRESSING SUCH A RAPID SHIFT . data security and implement other relevant enhancements in their operations . In fact , the COVID-19 crisis has sped up the transition , in areas such as AI adoption and digitisation , by several years . For an SME to keep pace with such a rapid rate of change – and adopt the appropriate IT solutions to serve constantly evolving requirements – they need to provision for the elastic usage of computing resources , secure handling of business data , automation of workflows , implement dynamic performance dashboards and quantify their risks and opportunities .
The design factors that most concern SMEs , in the context of IT infrastructure , include scalability , security , governance , sustainability , budgets , effectiveness , areas to outsource , shared IT , managed services and delivery speed . For SMEs to have dependable and robust IT infrastructure – which can support the integration of new technologies , as well as the day-to-day running of the business – they need to design the architecture to address : access control and asset management ; infrastructure and data – integrity and availability ; information security incident management ; information systems – acquisition , development and maintenance and continuity management . They also need to document SOPs and ensure that they have effective resources to handle them . Holistic improvements in information safety and security for SMEs need to be contextualised at the organisational , workflow , information and technical levels .
Creating and setting up IT infrastructure isn ’ t easy , but it doesn ’ t have to be difficult either . If it ’ s your first time doing so , we suggest consulting with a professional to avoid wasting any resources and reduce time to market . �
SMES HAVE REALISED THAT THEY WILL NEED TO ADOPT ADVANCED TECH-ENABLED SOLUTIONS THAT ARE FASTER AND MORE AGILE TO ADDRESS SUPPLY CHAIN REDUNDANCIES , IMPROVE DATA SECURITY AND IMPLEMENT OTHER RELEVANT ENHANCEMENTS IN THEIR OPERATIONS .
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