How to Cut Costs – and Maximize Resources – in the IT Department

it-spend-budget-cutThe economy is back on track, companies are hiring, cloud computing technology is revolutionizing business and the outlook is rosier than it’s been in years. So why is it that more IT departments are being tasked with gaining greater cost efficiencies than ever before?

Simple: organizations are realizing that effective IT spend is a key way to gain competitive advantage, maximize profits and better serve customers. And any IT leader worth his or her salt knows that the time to start making a positive – and strategic – impact on overall business operations is now. IT has finally been invited to the executive table; the recommendations it puts forth must serve to underscore the critical role it plays in contributing to an organization’s bottom line.

But where to begin? There are a few quick and obvious ways to make some serious resource allocation / cost cutting headway . . . and impress the c-suite while you’re at it. Keep reading for my top tips:

1. Focus headcount on strategic differentiators. Your IT staff is a valuable commodity that should be focused on providing the most value to your organization. In other words, it should be focused on tasks that provide strategic differentiation for your organization. Therefore, you should look to outsource tasks that are repeatable and/or do not provide a strategic differentiator for your organization. There is no reason to hire full-time, high-dollar, high-turnover resources such as database administrators, SharePoint and WordPress developers or HIPAA compliance experts when there are organizations out there that can provide you with high-caliber resources using an on-demand model at a fraction of the cost you would pay to recruit and retain a similar resource in-house.

2. Tighten training budgets. Similar to point number one above, now is not the time to be developing in-house expertise. If you’re looking at a serious initiative coming down the pike – be it meeting compliance requirements, planning for disaster recovery or implementing a new ERP system – don’t waste time and money getting your internal team up to speed. Call in experts who can hit the ground running without major capital outlays – or weeks spent out of office trying to build competencies.

3. Migrate to the cloud. Companies large and small are moving more and more of their infrastructure into the cloud as a way to reduce data center costs. While there are many different cloud offerings, including Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS), a great way to get started and realize those cost savings is to move to a managed IaaS offering. This will help increase the availability and performance of your organization’s infrastructure while reducing or eliminating the need for capital outlay for items such as data centers, servers, storage and networks.

4. Switch to cloud desktops. There’s no question that cloud desktops offer a number of advantages, including increased accessibility, agility, security and monitoring capabilities. In addition to these business enablement advantages, a cloud desktop solution can help cut your capital budget by dramatically reducing the need to continually invest in soon-to-be-outdated desktop hardware. Instead, you pay a small monthly fee per virtual cloud desktop to allow your employees access their critical files and applications from any device at any location at any time.

IT stands at a crossroads. On one hand, it must prove that it’s a strategic contributor to – and component of – overall business success. On the other, it must spend its increasingly shrinking IT budget with greater consideration and care than ever before.

If your company is on the cusp of migrating its assets to the cloud – or from one cloud service provider to another – to gain cost efficiencies, I invite you to download my recent on-demand webinar, Cloud Migration Services: Simplifying Your Journey to the Cloud. And if you’re in the market to outsource your database administration needs, please make a point to attend The Evolving Role of the DBA webinar, presented by my colleague Michael Corey, on July 31.

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