Dubai: Businesses always try and find ways to cut costs, and with the global economic crisis affecting revenues, companies are finding ways of reducing their own spending even further.

One of the first to get the axe are Information Technology (IT) services such as software upgrades, which means a direct hit for IT professionals.

However, Gulf News readers are not worried as they believe that IT plays a vital role in the progress of any business.

Faruk Bhagani, a managing director, believes that IT is crucial in today's world, as information demands are massive and feedback is required quickly.

He said that the crucial step is to pre-evaluate the return on investment for any proposed solution, in order to ensure that it will benefit an organisation financially.

Bhagani, an American national residing in Dubai, said: "IT has matured and needs to be examined on a cost-benefit basis."


He explained that rationalisation is required if the system in place is not being utilised fully. For example, if there is a software upgrade that is not particularly necessary, it should not be used.

Wuri Handayani, an Indonesian IT officer residing in Abu Dhabi, was concerned about her job when the global economic crisis began. However, she believes that IT is indispensable to companies.

She said: "IT is the backbone of an organisation. Without it, processes would not run as smoothly or as efficiently."

Handayani believes that every business, no matter how small, needs services and upgrades to progress.

She added: "A bigger enterprise will need a full IT setup, and an IT department to maintain it, because any system failure will halt the company's productivity."

Feby Imthias, a software engineer, also agrees that IT is the backbone of an organisation.

She added: "We provide all our business applications online. If money is not spent on upgrading, then the company will not move forward."

With offices located around the UAE, she said online services provided by her company reduce time delays and therefore help save money.

The Abu Dhabi resident said: "The volume of data and its maintenance is huge and constant. This in itself renders IT services indispensable."

However, Ashwin Abraham, an Indian IT engineer residing in Abu Dhabi, believes that when management looks at cost-cutting, it is the IT department that is often first to go.

However, he feels that most do not realise the value and potential of what IT services can do for an organisation's savings.

Basing decisions on long-term goals, IT can provide huge savings and quicker processes within the company, according to Abraham.

He said: "We need technology to compete in this market. The work done by a person in one hour could be done in minutes by a computer."

However, this might be a problem, as computers are becoming so efficient that many companies will not need as many people to do the job. Abraham said.

"It might not be serious now, but I do see these things happening, since the purpose of any machine is to be save time, and money and manpower."