On my way home from New York, a gentleman who was also riding the train noticed I was reading about SAP. As he sold software for a best-of-breed provider, we struck up a conversation about the state-of-the-software business.
“No one is buying anything right now,” pretty much summed up his thoughts on the matter.
It was an interesting caveat to the panel discussion I had just come from — “Why investing in IT makes sense in this economy.”
The sentiment that “no one is buying anything right now” is backed up by scores of recent studies showing that people really aren’t investing in IT.
But should you be?
“Is it the right time to buy a huge amount of new technology? I don’t know the answer to that question,” was the response of Harvard Business School professor and panelist Andrew McAfee to the question. “Is it the right time to stop trying to innovate and improve and make your business more efficient? It’s a really bad time to do that.”
So how can you innovate and make your business more efficient?
The two SAP customers on the board made clear that their priorities this year were business intelligence – one just having purchased Business Objects software.
“If I have this software, I’ll know which bridge I want to fix,” Naomi Wyatt, secretary of administration for the state of Pennsylvania, said when asked how she justified the software purchase with such a tight state budget.
SAP co-CEO Leo Apotheker stressed that businesses needed to focus on managing liquidity, and pitched a liquidity management package the vendor is delivering to that end.
But investing in IT doesn’t have to mean buying new SAP software.
In her column, “Ten imperatives for midmarket IT strategy in 2009,” Anne McCrory points to an investment in keeping staff happy as one key business strategy. And InfoWorld’s list of “Five top IT spending priorities for hard times” is topped by buying new hardware.
Does investing in IT makes sense for your business in this economy? And how will you do it?
Courtney Bjorlin, News Editor