Catalytic IT sticks to its guns amid COVID-19

Catalytic IT sticks to its guns amid COVID-19

How the WA-based consultancy is keeping a “long-term perspective”

Michael Lester (Catalytic IT)

Michael Lester (Catalytic IT)

Credit: Catalytic IT

Mass disruption might cause some businesses to panic, but Catalytic IT is keeping a cool head in the current environment with its “largely unchanged” strategy past the initial wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Despite all the current uncertainty, the Western Australia-based ICT consultancy sees itself continuing to hold onto its key business priorities from before the pandemic, for the most part, with director Michael Lester saying the business has always been a “mobility first organisation”. 

“The pandemic has simply accelerated that anytime/anywhere approach for businesses who have lagged behind,” Lester told ARN. 
“We've pursued collaboration platforms that have supported effective communication, and these have been pivotal in our customers’ successful handling of the pandemic. Our focus on organic growth remains, and our planned entry into new markets and product sets continues, largely unaffected. 

“Our strategy has remained largely unchanged — we maintain a long-term perspective, and maintain a solid financial position to ensure we can meet the ebbs and flows of our markets. While our execution has varied in recognition of the unique challenges COVID-19 has presented to us, our long term growth strategy continues largely as it did before.” 

That focus on mobility has seen its customers that had previously been slower in regards to adopting working from home policies start investing in mobility and remote connectivity solutions, such as video conferencing. 

Aside from this, there has also been a continued growth in demand for process improvement, Lester said. 

Companies are having to do more with less, and are looking for ways to automate and improve the way they do business,” he added. 

The direct threat of COVID-19 for Catalytic IT’s customers has been minimal, but it’s the indirect threat that’s the major concern. 

“For example, a school is essential, however private schools may be affected by enrolment reductions as broader job losses reduce discretionary spend,” Lester said. 

“We also see ongoing management of the security challenges presented by a distributed workforce as being a key area of focus in the coming months.” 

There’s also room for customers to get more out of their existing investments in ICT, which is something Lester believes there’s a lack of education around. 

So many customers have migrated to cloud platforms such as Office 365, however they tend to leverage just a small fraction of the capabilities of the platform,” he claimed.  

Organisations are discovering products such as Teams and looking at how this can adjust the way they communicate and collaborate.” 

The market is also ripe for automation opportunities and cloud consumption models, he added. 

However, even with this enhanced focus on mobility solutions, the way the consultancy defines success now is the same way it defined it prior to the pandemic — understanding and listening to customers to create tailored solutions, rather than focusing on one-size-fits-all approaches. 

Successful providers will need to be focused on a good experience for all stakeholders, regardless of location — which is something that mobility-focused providers have been doing for a long time,” Lester said.  

“Above all, providers need to be flexible and adaptable. One thing we've learned is that things can change very quickly and tech providers who are rigid will very quickly find customers turning away.”

ARN Advance is a centralised editorial resource designed to help partners access forward-looking content as the Australian market attempts to reposition for growth.

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