Few modern businesses would be able to function without information technology. While eliminating it is neither practical nor desirable, there are ways to reduce IT cost without compromising the security or scope of your systems. By employing a suite of cost cutting solutions and technologies, CIO’s can instead focus on spending money on innovations and business enhancement strategies.
Technology-related IT Cost Reduction Strategies
There are numerous measures that your organization can implement to make IT cost cutting possible. They include the following:
- Replace physical hardware with virtualization. When you no longer need to rely on tangible servers, you can save on the cost of firmware as well as on your energy bill.
- Switch over to a software-defined data center (SDDC). When this solution is put into motion, you can rely on service providers for your storage, networking, telecommunications and computing functions, relieving you of the time and financial burden of hardware purchasing and maintenance.
- Outsource. By paying trusted third parties to take over your digital tasks, infrastructure operating costs can be reduced. Working with outside contractors with expertise in the intricacies of network systems administration and security can free up your own employees who may be less skilled in these areas, enabling them to focus on other equally important activities. In addition to outsourcing staff responsibilities, organizations can also farm out infrastructure operations. On-demand advanced contract jobs that fall into this category include backup-as-a-service, disaster-recovery-as-a-service and security-as-a-service.
- Hire a managed security service provider (MSSP). Setting up and maintaining in-house security management can break your budget. That is why many companies choose to cut costs by enlisting the services of these outside contractors, who are in charge of monitoring for, identifying, mitigating and remediating security threats of all kinds.
This strategy saves you the time and aggravation of hiring, training and maintaining a security workforce as well as all of the other challenges that come with personnel. Another benefit of MSSPs is that they offer round-the-clock customer service and incident response management. If a crisis should arise, this team will go to work for your business immediately.
- Adopt cloud storage. Cloud technology is not new. In fact, its use is very common among organizations of all sizes. Storing information off-site is far more secure and also leads to it cost reduction in operational and maintenance expenses while simultaneously enhancing productivity and efficiency.
- Use open-source software. Because it does not require you to purchase a costly license, switching over some of your systems can keep costs down.
If you want to reduce or eliminate overhead expenses, keeping an eye on all aspects of your hardware and software infrastructure with a goal toward making your systems lean and agile can aid you in reducing IT costs.
Staff-related IT Cost Reduction
Although technology can burden your wallet, human resources can also be pricey. The following suggestions can be helpful:
- Lower personnel turn-over. It takes money to hire, train and compensate your employees, and staffing concerns are always a challenge. Balancing workloads and predicting coverage needs is a full-time job in itself. Therefore, it makes sense to retain talented workers for as long as possible. Offer a competitive salary and benefits package, and provide a company culture that makes people want to stay.
- Hire people right out of college. Not only will you see a cost savings but also you will find that newly graduated workers have cutting-edge knowledge that you can quickly put to use in your organization. In addition, consider hiring interns while they are still in school. Although they need supervision, these people may well be your full-time employees of tomorrow.
- Encourage end users to take responsibility for basic IT tasks. As long as clear documentation and training are in place, people can address many of their own needs without assistance from a top-level IT professional.
- Negotiate with suppliers. While some overhead costs are static, many contract-based expenses are subject to change. Do your research, and if you find that you are paying too much to a contractor for a product or service, discuss your concerns with them. During this process, use your best customer service skills; in other words, do not loudly demand an adjustment. Instead, show your evidence, stating your desire to continue your relationship with the enterprise. Whether you are in the middle of a contract or ready to renew, this strategy should optimize your chances of success.
- Seek other vendors. If the price is too high and your current supplier is not able to lower what you must pay, put out bids. Often, businesses that are just starting out are highly motivated to develop a client base and are therefore more willing to give you a good deal.
It is vital that your company strikes a delicate balance between saving dollars and providing thorough and effective IT services. There is no single solution that will protect your bottom line. Even so, implementing a multi-pronged suite of IT cost reduction technologies and strategies will enable you to continue to achieve your business goals in a fiscally responsible way.