This year naturally has seen a deceleration in business for IT service provider Araza, but for CEO Victoria Kluth, that is no reason to be pessimistic just yet.
The seven-year-old consultancy has stuck to its guns and continued its original 2020 strategy of pursuing government business, which, according to Kluth, is paying off.
“Our business priorities are to have a safe and healthy company,” she told ARN. “As soon as the pandemic hit this became our number one goal.”
“We are [still] aligned to the same strategy from the start of the year. Our goal was to concentrate heavily on the government vertical this year and this strategy has proven to be solid for the change in budgets once the pandemic hit.
Founded in 2013 in Melbourne, Araza has built and grown offices in Sydney and Canberra, taking a vendor-agnostic approach as a key part of its ethos.
Like many Australian IT service providers, Araza has not been immune to the reallocation of customer priorities due to the ongoing pandemic. In particular, the cloud-focused firm has witnessed budgets and projects being pushed out until next financial year already.
“Projects will go ahead, but at a slower pace,” added Kluth. However, as she explained, local providers are in a better position than some of their global counterparts.
“There will be a definite edge for those of us who are Australian services providers,” she said. “Many large companies will be looking to support the economy, jobs and industries by ensuring money stays within the country. As we have seen over the past few months, the ability to remain agile and adopt new practices will continue to be important.”
“I think everyone has the same key challenge which is we are all unsure of when everything normalises. And no one knows what the new normal is yet.”
While Araza has fingers in a number of pies, including risk, software engineering and development, testing, agile delivery and transformation, there is one area at the top of Kluth’s mind.
“Cyber, cyber, cyber,” she said, adding that the company now had a number of security project in the pipeline. This is understandable given the recent spate of attacks in Australia and the revelation that a “sophisticated state-based actor” was targeting local public and private organisations.
From an outreach perspective, Kluth also remains committed to Araza's Women in Cyber program, which she claims is still very popular.
And from a business perspective, the focus remains something of a balancing act.
“Araza is focusing on both [customer retention and acquisition]. The actual sales model has not varied," she said. "Client retention is so important as eventually, projects will come back for delivery. But we can’t stop reaching out to win new business, make new connections and stay relevant.”
ARN Advance is a centralised editorial resource designed to help partners access forward-looking content as the Australian market attempts to reposition for growth.