Imagine the scenario – a company advertises for a new Head of IT, responsible for overseeing everything from printer ink to departmental budgets. The MD interviews a few worthy candidates and after a conflab with his senior management team, they settle on one.
Excellent. He’s starting in a week and his first project is to slash 20% from the annual IT budget. However there are six in the IT department and as soon as they heard the news about Project P45, panic set in.
The easiest thing to do when the belt tightens isn’t to look for small efficiencies across the board, it’s to reduce headcount. Nice and easy. Not much work required. Who does the least? Lose them.
But, There Are Alternatives To Being The Bad Guy On Day One
It’s going to take a while to take stock of the company’s IT infrastructure but once that’s done, there are plenty of ways to reduce costs, both financially and in terms of time without being the bad guy and putting good people on the dole. No-one likes that guy.
Telecommuting In a survey updated in March 2016 from globalworkplaceanalytics.com, if those with compatible jobs and a desire to work from home did so for half the week, a typical business would save on average around £8,000 per employee per year on things like office supplies, utilities, janitorial services, refreshments, furniture, travel subsidies and the like.
That notwithstanding, it’s no secret that people who telecommute all or part of the time have higher levels of job satisfaction than those who don’t, saving money in the mid- to long-term on attrition, recruitment and training. Take a look at one of last month’s blogs about working from home.
Staff Look, if a business is looking to cut costs, staff are its biggest expense (to the tune, on average, of around 37% of an IT budget, so says Gartner). But, this should be the fall-back if all else fails. It’s worth looking at cutting back on contract staff and consultants or even implementing a temporary freeze on new hires. This both saves money and won’t kill office morale.
Shift into the Cloud As we reported last month, a shift into the cloud has significantly and permanently changed the role of the CIO but how does it save money (and time)?
Here’s how –
- World-class online security for email, data and software
- A fully engaged, mobile and collaborative workforce
- Unified voice, video and messaging
- Faster and cheaper data storage
- Defence against cyberbullies who want what you have
Well spotted. Not all of these are physical money savers however if your documents, communications and storage is up there in the cloud somewhere, nice and safe away from the thieving hands of increasingly sophisticated cyber-bullies, it means that you won’t ever have to fork out to replace servers, find and restore three million emails as well as twenty years of contracts, invoices and accounts.
According to Booz Allen Hamilton, a US-based provider of management consulting, technology and engineering services to the US government and the world’s biggest businesses, ‘over a 13-year lifecycle, the total costs of implementing and maintaining a cloud environment may be as much as two-thirds lower than a non-virtualized, traditional data centre.’
Consolidation It’s an awful management-speak word but it will save you money. Employees using company, or worse, personal mobiles are not only costing you a fortune but they are largely unmanaged and pose a serious security risk. You can drive predictable CPU – cost per user – for all forms of communication by adopting collaboration tools and bringing the way your business communicates kicking and screaming in to the 21st century.
One report we’ve read suggested that on average, the best businesses in this space can reduce costs by around 30% and deliver huge value in terms of flexibility of deployment, ease of use and the consolidation of infrastructure and apps needed.
Unmanaged Costs It’s very easy to, but you mustn’t ignore unmanaged IT costs like printer ink, paper for the copier, replacement mobile and tablet screens or laptop keyboards that get filled with coffee. What about the (probably) dozens of unused software licences you pay for every year? Go through everything with a fine toothcomb and ditch what you don’t need or use.
Hardware Buy new hardware. Not an immediate cost-saver (granted) but legacy hardware over five years old uses a lot of power, is slow and will be susceptible to downtime and repairs. New, more energy-efficient hardware is faster and cheaper to run and will save money in the long term.
All business are belt-tightening and naturally it depends on how much you need to do but often it just requires you to take advice from people like us who know this world and know that by careful streamlining in specific areas, you can save a fortune every year.
Saves you having to boot out the lovable IT guy who’s been there sixteen years and incurring the wrath of your workmates for ever more…
Have a good week.