When it comes to IT, you may feel like your company is spending more than it really needs to. But it may be spending a whole lot more than it needs.
No denying it, most invoices stemming from IT are the biggest your company sees. And they probably always will be. That doesn’t mean they have to be as big as they are.
In fact, by making certain key tech processes more efficient, an organization can shave between 8% and 39% off its IT spending.
That’s the bold assertion from the Hackett Group. It claims that by making certain specific changes to the way IT is managed, businesses can enjoy significant savings.
Here’s what those changes are:
Strategy #1: Focus on the big-ticket items
IT’s not the kind of expense you can chip away $500 at a time. To see serious savings, your company will have to focus on the budget-busters.
One of Hackett’s suggestions for a prime target: telecom. You likely have a lot of room to tighten up there, whether you decide to contract out for a telecom audit or you decide to go it alone.
Strategy #2: Revisit outsourcing deals
If you have any outsourcing contracts coming up for renewal, you want your company’s sharpest negotiator involved.
You should be able to strike a lower deal than you’re currently getting.
Strategy #3: Consolidate and standardize wherever possible
From the help desk and data centers to applications, encourage IT to adopt this motto: Less is best.
Now’s the time to challenge your IT manager to come up with ways to consolidate these functions wherever possible. The more efficient your infrastructure, the more cost-effective and streamlined your organization will operate.
Strategy #4: Get better at implementing applications
System and software conversions are notorious black holes for cash.
A slow or troubled roll-out can end up costing companies more than the new technology itself. That can put a serious hit on your return on investment.
You need not only the right people selecting the right technology, but you also need the right people getting everyone else up to speed.
Some companies run parallel systems until users’ comfort levels are up. But that can actually slow the learning curve.
A better bet: Start with some initial training sessions in small groups — maybe department by department.
From there, have supervisors keep a list of questions or problems that arise often, as well as which of their staffers seem to be struggling the most with the new way of doing things. Then IT staffers can address problems and people on an individual basis. That keeps your company from dragging everyone (including those that don’t need it) on extra training.
Strategy #5: Know when to say when
Let’s face it, not every new tech project is a success. Putting a temporary hold on the development of a given IT project — or abandoning it altogether — can save you a bundle.
And if you’ve outsourced any of those projects, even a few months of putting it on ice can offer you immediate savings (no more paying for time and materials).
Of course, there’s one last strategy that will get people saying farewell to any IT undertaking that’s not absolutely necessary: Charge IT projects back to the departments that benefit from them.
The majority of your peers still charge anything that involves a keyboard and a mouse only to IT. By making other departments devote part of their own budgets to the tech project, you can bet there’ll be a lot more discernment.
Even if you do nothing else, those spending numbers will go way down.