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The Margin Q2 2020

The Margin Q2 2020

Worse, then better

Recently, I've caught myself saying to people something along the lines of, 'when this is all over...'
I've stopped that now. This isn't going to be over anytime soon. International air travel probably won't be possible for at least this year, along with any gathering of any appreciable size.
But life, and business, goes on. For some, the shift to remote working has been less of a wrench than for others, particularly for multinationals, and others who had the foresight to seriously plan for a mobile workforce. As for those who were unprepared, it appears to have been a bit of a scramble, but almost everyone now seems to be up and running. There are also plenty of mobile solutions out there, and no shortage of advice.
China's ICT market is going to take a serious knock, by about 10% in Q1, says IDC.
It also says hardware makers are going to be hit harder than software houses. It adds, however, that it expects the full-year impact to be limited, which is good news, given the global turmoil.

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What can be done?
I like the comment from Paul Ruinaard, the personable local sales director from Nutanix, who says we need to 'stick to our knitting'.
"We're not medical experts, so we need to follow the markets and the experts and take calculated business decisions that factor in the same type of risk indicators as if we were dealing with a recession or a natural disaster. We know supply and demand is challenged."
He adds that we're only seeing the tip of the Covid iceberg, and there's little indication of how this is going to pan out.
"We need to put our heads down, deliver the solutions our clients need to sweat their assets, use the cloud, build more software-defined solutions, and leverage professional services via the cloud or remotely to ensure they keep the lights on.
It's also probably going to get worse, before it gets better.
In this edition, we speak to Craig Freer, head of cloud at Vox, who says that South Africa is at the bottom of a long list of countries waiting for stock. We're also a small market, and not a priority one, and much of China's production will be headed for the US.
There's more bad news from Jo-Anne Mitchell, Deloitte Africa's restructuring services leader. She points out that our economy was not exactly booming prior to the pandemic, Ôso if it's now survival of the fittest, then this is going to make things even worse', especially for those without ready access to finance. It's also not clear what the appetite is going to be for large technology purchases as businesses large and small batten down the hatches.
While this state of affairs can't last forever, I predict that things are never going to be quite the same again. There will probably be far fewer global technology conferences; why fly tens of thousands of people halfway around the world when you can save millions, not to mention the effect on the environment. There's also going to be plenty of people who will probably never see the inside of an office again, as companies reap the benefits of lower costs and increased productivity.
The crisis has forced us to evolve, but not in quite in the way we expected.

Matthew Burbidge
Editor
matthew@itweb.co.za



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