Load shedding’s adverse impact on IT budgets

THE worst power cuts in years are slowing down South African companies’ spending in information technology (IT). This as organisations are rerouting the budget to backup power, in the form of generators or solar batteries. Aruba, the cloud based security networking firm, has noted the trend.

“Indeed, more than a quarter of South African CIOs (chief information officers) say their IT budgets either remained flat or decreased in 2022,” said Mandy Duncan, Aruba Country Manager for South Africa.Another 38 percent of CIOs (chief information officers) say they have increased only to accommodate inflation.Duncan said simultaneously, the expectations for IT and the wireless network get bigger and more complicated all the time.IT leaders are under pressure to increase day-to-day efficiencies in a secure and sustainable way, while also driving product innovation and creating room for new revenue opportunities.“And all this while navigating shrinking budgets and a growing power crisis,” Duncan said.She recommended that companies adopt cloud-managed networks to enable them achieve more despite load shedding.“Load shedding isn’t a reason to avoid investing in technology but rather a reason to reassess how you invest in that technology,” said Duncan.Beleaguered power utility, Eskom, this week ramped up load shedding to “Stage 6.” This can mean up to ten-hour power cuts.

Eskom stated, “The increase in demand after the long weekend and the re-opening of schools has put additional strain on the power generating system.”

Duncan noted that over the past few years, load shedding has become the single-biggest hindrance to gross domestic product (GDP) growth in South Africa.“And as the ramifications of load shedding continue to undermine profitability, business costs have become the number one risk to their stability,” she said.President Cyril Ramaphosa was on Thursday scheduled to host the South African Investment Conference (SAIC).“President Ramaphosa will also brief investors on the steps that are being taken by government in addressing the visa, transport and logistics, crime and corruption and energy challenges,” Vincent Magwenya, presidential spokesperson, said.



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