The sudden tumble in the stock market this week was a very stark reminder of the 2008 financial crash and the consequences many are still feeling today. $4trillion (£2.9trillion) wiped off stocks in the last week is no laughing matter. The good news however, is that analysts doubt there will be a prolonged period of selling.
It will also be yet another alarm bell to the UK government, that whilst the economy has outperformed everyone’s expectations since the Brexit referendum some 18months ago, the continued uncertainty on the matter really needs addressing soon, just as William Hague stated this week, Ministers must have a “solid plan and a positive outlook”.
That was why the DAVOS summit was somewhat refreshing, moving the rhetoric from the usual doom and gloom to a much more positive tone. For the tech sector it was a joy to hear that we were front and centre of so much of the World Economic Forum, with Mrs May pitching the UK as a centre for emerging technologies, like artificial intelligence and machine learning. More of that can-do attitude and positive thinking will do nicely for both the Private and Public Sector over the coming months as the challenges ahead are both great and difficult but must be overcome if we are to progress and compete globally.
Remaining positive and competing in times of uncertainty is of course no mean feat. Budgets continue to be cut, any spare cash that might be about is often used to plug holes and Chief Execs, Heads of Finance and Digital Leaders have the pressure of having to appease investors or the public they serve. Those who succeed in these times are individuals who will confront the uncertainty and focus on the things within their control.
Recently we have seen two prime examples of organisations that have shied away from confrontation and have sadly headed in a downward direction which no one likes to see. The two examples I am referring to are Carillion and Northamptonshire County Council. Carillion for example, heavily gambled on too many large contracts which were less lucrative then they hoped, combined with tough market conditions, there demise has now left 43,000+ people either unemployed or potentially out of work very soon. Northamptonshire County Council in the last week became the first council in nearly 20 years, to issue a section 114 notice, which bans all new expenditure apart from statutory services for safeguarding vulnerable people. Whilst the need for financial restraint may have been particularly painful for them, they are still the same cuts that have been affecting councils for nearly a decade now; many of those effected by these cuts have confronted these by multiple means, ranging from the sell-off of assets through to the adoption of modern technology.
Since the 08 financial crash, both Private and Public Sector alike have explored the value and benefits of technology; what probably started out of necessity has now become the norm for many and in some cases a labour of love for some organisations who are putting tech at the heart of everything. To truly flourish over the coming years and at the very least survive, most orgs by now have learnt that investing in technology and good technology can be the difference between survival and extinction.
What is interesting to observe within the tech sector now is whilst Microsoft may not be as ‘cool’ as some of its counterparts, it is becoming clear, more and more organisations are turning towards Microsoft technology for help. They are doing so because, Microsoft is a safe-bet, it is unique in its ability to seamlessly coordinate with familiar tools and it’s helping puncture through uncertainty by giving people control at an uncertain time for them with secure and cost-efficient tech. It was therefore, no surprise when Microsoft announced its shares had risen 9.56% in 2018, that AWS had lost out to Microsoft in the 4th quarter of 2017 and early estimates now indicate Azure will grow a further 88% in 2018.
Rather than waiting on global and national events to unfold, my recommendation to any organisation would be to further explore the potential Microsoft tech offers them. By Digitally Transforming over the coming year/s and working with a Gold-Partner like risual, organisations in the Private and Public Sector can take control of their own destiny’s by puncturing through uncertainty and be better prepared to weather any tough market conditions that may or may not occur.
The sudden tumble in the stock market this week was a very stark reminder of the 2008 financial crash and the consequences many are still feeling today… Those who succeed in these times are individuals who will confront the uncertainty and focus on the things within their control.