Downturn 'boots up bottom line': CEO

The current economic downturn will give some companies a 'boot up the bottom line' forcing them to seriously address an e-commerce strategy, Fujitsu CEO Phil Kerrigan said today.

Suffering some short-term pain, he said, may actually accelerate the uptake of e-commerce.

Speaking about doing business in an uncertain economy at an Australian Internet Industry Association (AIIA) breakfast, Kerrigan said companies will budget for technology that reduces costs instead of going for the same old solutions.

"While Australian businesses may cut back on IT spending for new business initiatives, they will still budget for technology that reduces cost. The vendor community needs to look at the new opportunities created by the economy and offer solutions to address customers' changing requirements," he said.

Kerrigan said companies that win in tough times focus on their customers to turn potential adversity into opportunity.

He said some good came out of the 'dot bombs' reminding business to focus on revenue, margins and cost.

"It reminded us there is no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, it was just an unsustainable fantasy in people's minds," Kerrigan said.

During tough times, he said, reputation and brand become more important so companies should not cut back on advertising and marketing expenses.

"In the end downturns are just a part of the economic cycle, otherwise it would be an economic straight line so this should be business as usual. It gets down to understanding your customers' business issues; if you can't do that you shouldn't be in business, irrespective of the economic environment."

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