Manage Your Mandates Before They Begin Managing You

Steve Sprague
November 14, 2022

It’s a good year to be an IT leader. After far too many years of the phrase “do more with less” being the mantra of most organizations when it came to technology spending, things are finally looking up.

According to research firm Gartner, IT spending will reach an estimated $4.5 trillion in 2022. This represents a 5.1% increase over 2021 and is a much-needed boost for businesses in need of technology updates that may have been placed on the backburner due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

IT departments are also eager to switch focus from just keeping things afloat to more long-term projects that will strategically and successfully support the future of work. This assertion is backed by numbers provided by IT management solutions firm Flexera in its State of Tech Spend Report.

When asked where budgets were being allocated to this year, 54% of those surveyed expected increased investment and resources to be applied to technology that makes it easier and more seamless for employees to work from home. Another 42% of those surveyed stated a newfound willingness to move to the cloud to support the realities of a post-pandemic world. Participants in this survey were all executives and high-level managers in IT with significant knowledge of their organizations’ overall IT budgets, weighed in on what to expect in the year to come.

These findings show the level of importance businesses are putting on hybrid and flexible work environments. The likelihood that working from home, at least in some capacity, is here to stay has IT departments rethinking their strategies to be prepared to tackle any challenges that may arise.

Could the Government Stand in the Way?

The strategies being outlined by IT departments are sound and inline with the world in which we now exist. However, there is another post-pandemic force at work with the potential to derail the best laid plans and devour a vast amount of budget and resources. Government mandated e-invoicing.

If you work as an IT leader at a multinational company, you likely fall into one of the two following categories. One, you’ve been brought into deal with the new realities of real-time oversight and enforcement from regulatory authorities. Or two, you are about to be brought into the fray with your own internal mandate, solve this problem for good.

Why am I so definitive in this declaration? Because I work with some of the biggest brands on the planet and I am witnessing firsthand the impacts these mandates are having on their IT organization.

When it comes to IT projects, most are not reactionary but the result of careful and methodical planning over a long period of time. However, the government is changing the rules here. No longer are projects and upgrades on your timeline. When they implement new laws and mandates it’s either you move quickly to address the issue and make it right or you pay the consequences which can range from hefty fines to even losing your license to operate.

What Does This Mean for Me?

As government mandated e-invoicing laws quickly ramp up around the world, they represent a credible threat to your IT budgets. IT departments must be prepared for the new realities that accompany government mandated e-invoicing. With authorities now in the data stack of your businesses examining transactions in real-time as they traverse your network, you will need a solution that enables you to deliver the information in the format required in real-time.

Bottom line, compliance is no longer a tax issue. IT leaders and other senior leadership must work together to align business functions across the board. IT needs to ensure the resources and tools are in place to meet government mandated obligations, no matter the company’s industry or location.

A failure to address the problem early will only lead to more complex and costly problems down the road that will absorb critical budgets and resources earmarked for other priority projects.

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Author

Steve Sprague

As chief strategy officer, Steve Sprague drives corporate strategy, go to market initiatives, and field enablement for the company’s global value added tax (GVAT) business. Steve’s leadership style follows his core belief that for organizations to be successful, they must commit to and invest in the three strategic anchors of business – people, practices and products.
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