At this point in your career as an IT leader, you’ve probably already had to deal with a budget cut or twelve. Often viewed by people outside the department as an area of significant cost, the IT team has to balance keeping operations running smoothly and delivering value with reducing waste and overall expenditure—something that’s much, much easier said than done.
That being said, there are certain things you can do today to reduce costs in your IT department. Here are five things you can get started on (and potentially finish!) before leaving this evening that can help you save money long term.
1. Find a print management partner.
Look, we’re a print management service. Of course we’re going to begin this post by talking about how what we do can help you. But here’s the thing: you don’t need to take our word for it that print management can help save you some serious cash.
According to IDC research, businesses can save as much as 30 percent annually by outsourcing print management functions to a service provider. Why? Because managed print consolidates your fleet, making it more manageable, reducing your overhead costs and eliminating device maintenance from your plate. You see cost reductions in labor and equipment right away. Groovy.
2. Invest wisely in more efficient technologies.
If cost reduction is a long-term goal for your IT department, you can’t simply slash spending and call it a day. Instead, you need to take a look at your current spending to determine how to run operations, infrastructure and data more efficiently. Part of this involves determining areas of inefficiency and planning to either replace them (if they’re devices) or make them more cost-effective (if they’re processes).
You may have a decades-old network infrastructure that works, but not as well as it could. Crunch the numbers to see if it may be more cost-effective in the long term (five years, ten years) to replace it with new, higher-performing equipment. You may have to spend more to save more.
3. Re-prioritize investments and find easy areas for short-term cuts.
If you’re only looking to reduce costs in the short term, it’s essential to re-prioritize your operations and investments. Simple housekeeping expenditures like training, travel, office supplies and temporary expenditures can be reprioritized and cut in order to provide some short-term relief for a stretched budget. It may mean that you’ll be low on pencils for a few weeks, but you’ll make it through.
One area where you should tread carefully is people costs. Gartner estimates that 37 percent of the average IT budget is dedicated to personnel, so it’s an obvious place to start if you’re looking to reduce costs. Don’t jump right to layoffs or slashing everyone’s end-of-year bonus, though: cutting back on outside contract work or a temporary hiring freeze can be just as effective in saving your budget, without the morale-dampening side effects.
4. Promote telecommuting.
If a typical business allowed employees to work from home just half the time, they would save (on average) $11,000 per year. And that’s just from the overhead: the costs that can be reduced from telecommuting include utilities, janitorial services, office supplies, coffee and snacks (those sweet, sweet snacks), office equipment and travel subsidies.
But overhead isn’t the only cost that telecommuting can reduce: according to a study done by Staples Advantage, workers who were allowed to work from home reported much higher levels of job satisfaction and lower stress levels. 76 percent felt more loyal to their companies as well. What does this mean? You avoid the high costs of employee turnover, saving you plenty of money and keeping your best employees around longer.
5. Keep projects cloud-based.
By relying on the cloud for document sharing, storage and communication, you cut costs across those three areas significantly. In fact, Booz Allen Hamilton has found that over a 13-year life cycle, the total costs of implementing and maintaining a cloud environment may be as much as ⅔ lower than a non-virtualized, traditional data center.
Throughout May, we’ll be discussing ways to reduce inefficiencies in your IT department and keep costs low. Stay tuned for more, but in the meantime, learn how to get your print process under control. Our eBook, 6 Steps to Recharge Your Managed Print Process, will help you out. Download it below!
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