While IT budgets are likely to grow within many companies in 2014 and beyond, proactively cutting expenses allows CIOs more latitude in how they spend funds and can create more flexibility for deploying technology. Here are ten money saving tips — split between ways to reduce the cost of user service and cost efficiencies for IT-internal expenses — that can immediately reduce expenditures:
Five Ways to Reduce Help Desk Costs
- Help Desk Self-services. While it’s probably not going to be possible to completely eliminate the help desk, tools like knowledge-bases and FAQs empower users to answer their own questions. Self-service tools for basic tasks can also save money by reducing the amount of time that the department has to spend on creating new user accounts, requisitioning analog lines for fax machines or increasing disk quotas.
- Transfer training to departments. Working with individual business departments to have them train their users on basic computing tasks like using applications and printing saves help desk resources.
- Manage privileges strategically. Giving every user administrator rights makes it easier for them to cause problems on the network that IT then has to fix. Locking down permissions can reduce support costs.
- Create a single central intranet. With a single intranet that serves the entire organization, IT departments can simplify management, better manage information to prevent the proliferation of outdated data and potentially recognize additional economies of scale.
- Leverage automation for recurring tasks. Tasks that get regularly repeated are prime candidates for automation. These can include backups, database re-indexing procedures, and purging old records, emails or terminated employee information. The more that a script does, the less the staff has to do.
Five Ways to Reduce IT Department Costs
- Tier maintenance and support levels. Splitting IT infrastructure into Tier I mission critical, Tier II business impacting and Tier III convenience systems allows IT leadership to be more selective in which levels of support and maintenance they purchase. This can enable even better support levels for Tier I systems while still leading to a net cost reduction thanks to lower costs for Tier II and Tier III infrastructure.
- Embrace open standards. Open standards offer multiple cost benefits. Open standard solutions are typically less expensive than vendor-specific solutions. They also allow the creation of a multi-vendor atmosphere where companies can select the lowest bidder in a truly competitive environment.
- Negotiate multi-year support contracts. While IT moves quickly, the need for support is a given. Setting up very long-term service contracts of up to five years provides a great deal of consistency. It also makes it possible to lock in pricing against inflation and justify discounted pricing in the near term.
- Leverage monitoring and capacity management. Monitoring systems help IT leaders determine where they really need to adjust their network, eliminating the need for unnecessarily spending money to upgrade perfectly adequate components.
- Re-bid telecommunications at renewals. Pricing in the telecommunications market changes frequently. The best way to ensure that a company is receiving the best possible pricing is to get new pricing bids from multiple providers every time that a contract comes up.
About the Author
Mr. Jake Kent is an Entrepreneur & Business Owner specializing in Information Technology. Jake has founded eight companies, to include Information Technology Consulting & Delivery, Investment Real Estate and Community Banking. Jake brings vision, leadership and a strong work ethic to the CEO role. He leads by example, possessing remarkable skills, experience and expertise across business strategy, operations, financial management and sales & marketing. Jake is a founder of the Matthew-Mint Hill Optimist Club and a Board Member of the Ballantyne IT Professionals Non-profit. Read More..