Blue sky thinking: How Connectus is helping businesses save money
4th October 2022
As we finish the first half of the current financial year, I wanted to share with you some of the thoughts and testimony we are gathering from our clients, many related to the economic challenges which lie ahead. Day-in-day-out, thanks to the work of everybody across the Group, the feedback we are receiving is that our first-class support continues to enable our clients to grow. Many of our clients are talking to us about the hurdles which the current economic climate is presenting. These include the issues of inflation, interest rates, the labour market, tax, cyber security and changing working culture.
I felt it was therefore useful to stop and reflect on how the Connectus Group is tailor-made to tackle those issues and how we are already helping support our clients manage those issues which they are most concerned about.
Firstly, let’s look at inflation, which is rising and which is predicted to soar even higher before the end of the year. This is causing concern to our clients because it creates larger overheads through wage inflation and other associated cost increases. We are supporting our customers through this challenge by working with them to migrate expensive legacy technology to the cloud thus saving them considerable sums of money related to the on-site energy costs which they face from their own servers and wider infrastructure.
Interest rates, which are tipped to rise by 6% next year, are also heaping more pressure on companies. Rate rises create additional costs of borrowings for our clients, which need to be serviced, thus creating greater cashflow burdens. We are assisting our customers through this challenge by producing IT audits to ensure they are getting the most out of their current IT budget. In many cases these audits are saving them money and delivering more capabilities. IT should underpin a company’s corporate objectives, however it needs to remain robust, saleable, cost effective and secure.
On that point, security is an issue which is coming up again-and-again from our clients. The ever increasing cyber security threats that exist to all types of businesses are now clear for all to see. More than one in three (36%) of all UK companies last year were subject to some type of cyber-attack; even charities are being impacted in a significant way.
During a time of financial challenges it might be tempting for many businesses to be considering cutting spending on areas like security, thinking they might ‘get away with it’. But doing so can create more expensive problems to fix in the future.
Due to the long-term relationships we’ve built with our clients, many can see the benefit of continuing to invest in cyber-security solutions that add value to their business. We are protecting our clients, and their supply chain, with the very best cyber and information security training, awareness sessions and system audits. This allows our team to identify and with our help proactively mitigate the risk of cyber-attacks from their businesses.
Our clients are also talking to us about labour market issues. We are now witnessing the lowest levels of unemployment since 1974, which can make sourcing and retaining skilled staff more difficult. For Connectus this presents an opportunity to help our clients even more by acting as a key partner within their business infrastructure and operating as an extension of their team.
Delivering in this area means ensuring we support our client’s corporate strategy, and that we deliver services which are easy to use, protectively maintained and effectively monitored.
Like at Connectus, many of our clients have made hybrid-working the norm within their business post-pandemic. . According to the Office of National Statistics, the proportion of hybrid workers in the UK market has risen from 13% in early February 2022 to 24% now.
Our clients say they like the fact it saves employees time and money on commuting, and also allows them to have more time with their families. Yet hybrid working presents challenges too, which we help solve. Our clients want to ensure their colleagues remain engaged and productive, not just for the sake of their businesses but for their employees’ mental wellbeing too. Our unique blend tools and workflow processes allow staff to work from any internet enabled location in a secure, engaged and collaborative manner.
The final area our clients are increasingly talking to us about relates to one of the Government’s policies on tax. The annual investment allowance of 100% tax relief on certain capital expenditure, which includes computer equipment, will remain at £1million beyond April 2023. This is making it more attractive for companies to modernise and upgrade old and obsolete technology, and replace them with the kind of services which Connectus can deliver.
As we approach the final quarter of 2022 we should remember that technology is like time: it stands still for nobody. That’s why developing and protectively maintaining a technology roadmap which underpins a corporate strategy will remain vital for both Connectus’ growth and that of our clients too.
*To share an example of how the Connectus Group is helping navigate our clients through the current economic challenges please email me at email@example.com