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For most organisations, the economic and budgetary challenges of 2009/10 drove important changes in IT investment decisions, accelerating the trend toward greater accountability and transparency to compete and survive, says 1Stream director Jed Hewson.

Gartner predicts that by 2012, 20 percent of businesses will own no IT assets, largely due to the need for cost efficiencies, flexibility, delivery and mobility.

“There is no longer a competitive advantage to owning your own IT. For any SME to survive, it needs to focus on its core business. SMEs need to have IT that is seen as a dependable enabler which works seamlessly in the background of the day-to-day running of your company,” says Hewson.

Gartner also predicts that hosted technology will grow by 375 percent between 2008 and 2013.

De-risking in a SLA with a specialised third party provider rather than owning assets that are costly to service and upgrade, has become a global trend. Hosted solutions are cost predictable and scalable at the touch of a button

“Attracting and retaining IT skills is costly and time consuming. IT needs to be a dependable enabler for SME’s who thrive on flexibility in order to deliver and compete. They need to easily make changes, expand or even relocate. The more premise based their IT is, the harder it is to upscale and serve the growing requirements for employee mobility. Work is an activity, not a location,” adds Hewson. Employees need to be able to attend to customers’ needs 24/7 when it’s business critical.

If you’re a small company it will be hard to cover any unpredictable costs. In order to remain dynamic, you need to account for any changes, but with hosted technology, that barrier becomes the responsibility of the hosted provider.

Outsourcing your IT to a hosted technology provider eliminates the burden of unforeseen costs, IT skill retention, legacy systems and in house assets.

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