The beginning of the Covid pandemic in 2020 certainly changed the world as we know it. It’s affected personal relationships, business relationships and even international relationships. And while over two years later, there is some semblance of returning to a new normality, businesses that have survived the initial shocks are still facing strong headwinds. The IT industry has been embroiled in a computer chip shortage that has had reverberating effects on all sorts of industries. That’s why every business owner, regardless of industry, should know about supply shortages in the IT industry: how to prepare.
You may believe your industry shouldn’t be affected by the worldwide computer chip shortage, but the fact is that these tiny circuit boards are more integral to modern life than you might realize. Not only are chips necessary for computers, phones and everyday electronic equipment, but they’re also vitally important components of products such as cars, refrigerators and washing machines. No matter what your business is, it’s highly likely that you’re using chips daily. The need for a new piece of equipment could cost you much more in time and money than it ever has before. Until this bottleneck in chip production is solved, the routine replacement of office equipment and communication devices could cause delays or breakdowns in what would normally be considered routine transactions.
Another consequence of the pandemic has been massive disruptions in global supply chains. The double whammy of lockdown-caused labour shortages and an increase in demand resulting from financial stimuli has led to problems around several different links of various supply chains. This has resulted in shortages, price rises and lengthy wait times for all sorts of products. When it comes to replacing or upgrading IT infrastructure – which may be as ordinary as acquiring a new laptop – many companies are running into problems. So what can be done to mitigate the risk assumed by the average business that depends on fluid supply chains?
One way to get around the time-consuming problems that have been created by chip production shortfalls and IT industry supply shortages is to take on a virtual Chief Information Officer (CIO.) A CIO allows a business to focus on its core functions while ensuring that the IT infrastructure that backs those core functions remains consistent, up to date and operating as normal. A CIO can itemize and monitor an organization’s IT assets and their life cycles to help create long term plans for upgrades and replacements. This can greatly reduce the possibility of damage caused by IT supply shortages and bottlenecks. A CIO will also ensure the existing infrastructure is regularly updated and protected with contingency plans for data backup and damage recovery.
Another way to avoid the supply chain problems in the IT hardware industry altogether is to consider migrating to the cloud. Migrating IT services to the cloud can be beneficial in a time of supply chain crisis because of the sharing of chip-based resources, the in-house chip production by cloud service providers and the leverage that the cloud service providers can wield because of their size. Migrating to a cloud service provider reduces reliance on supply chain-restricted hardware while allowing businesses to grow or shrink without the burden of expensive and increasingly scarce computer components.
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