It has been more than a decade since the 2008-2009 “Great Recession” in Canada, which impacted the entire world and was driven largely by the United States’ housing market crash.
Yet as we move into 2023, many experts are predicting the economy will move into a recession. This is down to a number of factors, such as rising wages, skyrocketing prices, high inflation and staffing shortages, which have all contributed to the economy stalling and organizations struggling to maintain their profit margins.
Yet with the right IT solutions in place, businesses can better prepare for a potential recession, ensuring they are able to improve the efficiency of their team and maintain, and even grow, profit margins.
With that in mind, in this blog we take a look at some of the most popular business IT solutions that small and medium-sized companies will use over the coming year to address the challenges that come with economic uncertainty.
What is the chance of a recession in 2023?
Whether Canada will fall into a recession in 2023 is still unknown, although economists are predicting that it is a likely scenario. While it’s unlikely to be as significant as previous recessions, economists are predicting a “short technical recession” in the country.
According to a report by the Financial Post, economists are predicting that gross domestic product is expected to record back-to-back quarterly declines at the start of 2023.
Royce Mendes, head of macro strategy at Desjardins Capital Markets, told the Financial Post: “The Bank of Canada says it’s trying to balance the risks of under-and over-tightening, but that ship might have already set sail. The impacts of higher interest rates will likely push the nation into recession.”
Meanwhile, The Royal Bank of Canada is also predicting a recession for Canada in 2023. RBC has warned that a cooling housing market, coupled with low employment levels and rising central bank rates will bring economic downturn “sooner than previously thought.”
What IT solutions can help small and medium-sized businesses in Canada prepare for a potential recession?
So, what can organizations do to prepare for an economic downturn and ensure that their team is both productive and profitable? We’ve listed a few of the most popular IT solutions that can help.
1 - Cloud computing
Economic experts are predicting that ongoing inflation and subdued economic growth will continue throughout 2023. Most of all, many industries are still plagued by supply chain issues that emerged during the global shutdowns caused by COVID-19.
Moving IT infrastructure out of your office, by replacing internal hardware for cloud computing services, can help mitigate the impact of IT supply shortages. Transitioning to cloud computing will reduce the computing requirements of your machines and increase their lifespan, meaning you can last longer without having to replace computers and other hardware.
By increasing the longevity of your physical hardware, you can avoid the inflationary prices that come with an economic downturn and mitigate the impact of supply chain disruptions.
2 - Business process automation
Business process automation, known as BPA, is the use of specific technologies to automate recurring and time-consuming tasks. This could include the automation of your finance and accounting process, delegating internal work within teams, marketing automation tools and creating sales workflows.
By using BPA technologies to automate time-consuming and mundane tasks, you can free up your team to work on core tasks that drive real value to your business. This is particularly important during an economic downturn when your business may not have the budget to invest in new team members even as you grow.
3 - Electronic document management
An electronic document management system handles digital documents, digitally scanned versions of original paper documents, as well as images, video, and audio files, providing a way for your business to centrally store a large volume of digital documents.
By making it significantly easier to organize, store, manage and retrieve documents for your team, electronic document management will dramatically improve the efficiency of your internal operations and give employees more time to focus on their core competencies. Improving the productivity of your team will improve your bottom line, and ensure you can maintain profit margins during more difficult economic times.
4 - Artificial intelligence
Applying artificial intelligence (AI) technology to the right business opportunities can lead your organization to be one of the winners during an economic downturn. That’s because AI can be used to make a meaningful impact in reducing costs, optimizing internal processes, and even finding new revenue streams.
AI technology can be used to improve collaboration among teams, improve customer service, enhance cybersecurity, better evaluate customer data, improve productivity through automation and even make faster business decisions.
Interested in learning more about how IT solutions can help your small or medium-sized business in Ontario prepare for a potential recession in 2023? Get in touch with OT Group today. Our team of IT specialists would love to answer any questions that you may have.