In 2018, IT spending is projected to reach a total of $3.7 trillion worldwide, which is an increase of 6.2% from last year according to the latest forecast from Gartner, Inc. It’s a constant challenge to keep your IT costs down without weakening service, quality or security.
Here are some of the ways to keep your IT costs down.
1. Get to the Cloud!
The cloud isn’t a remedy for all IT challenges but one thing’s for sure: the financial predictability of the cloud. Through cloud computing, storage and hardware no longer needs to be on-site. A cloud-based platform allows users to access software applications via the internet. The main benefits are lower or no upfront costs, reduced IT support services (because the cloud provider provides this), as well as shrinking your costs of maintaining and supporting your updates and upgrades. Learn all the benefits of cloud computing here.
When thinking about the cloud consider:
- – What do you spend on installation, staffing, maintenance and security?
- – What do you pay annually to have on-premises infrastructure in terms of software licenses?
- – Compare this with a cloud based service. Is there a payoff?
2. Vendors, services and platforms
Standardizing vendors and technologies in your organization is another step to take in reducing your IT costs. Start thinking about standardizing everything from your operating system to your vendor relationships. For instance, dealing with too many vendors can be confusing for your finance department and your IT team. Or think about the amount of time and hassle you’d save by the entire organization using the same version of the same software. This all will help improve communication across teams, reduce the burden on IT staff and bring other benefits as well as reduce costs.
3. Automation through AI, Machine Learning & IoT
Automate some of your manual processes with Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning or the Internet of Things (IoT). AI and Machine Learning can already outperform humans at specific tasks. The issue is some of us, and I have been a victim of this, think that AI is going to replace humans and people will lose jobs. This isn’t entirely true, the goal of automating your business processes with AI, Machine Learning and IoT is for your team to do more value creating tasks instead of spending their hours fixing problems that technology can easily take care of.
4. Demanding quicker ROI from IT investments
Being more efficient and resourceful with your IT projects is much easier by avoiding large, multi-year IT initiatives whenever you can. The answer could be in the cloud, where scaling up or down is easy with the flexible pricing models, or perhaps in a pre-configured system. Think about when a project isn’t going to plan and isn’t delivering its expected value, you need to consider taking the necessary steps on time to ensure this project doesn’t fail in the long-term. This could mean changing the project plan or abandoning the project overall and starting another one.
5. Consider a Managed Services Provider (MSP)
A managed service provider (MSP) offers a complete service solution including all infrastructure, software, management and support. The service is delivered either proactively or as needed, for an improved and overall more efficient operation for the client organization. There are a number of benefits from enhanced security, access to the latest technologies, maximum uptime as well as a proactive approach to IT challenges. The biggest business value though is greater cost savings and return on investment.
If you have already thought about any of these you’re probably ahead of the curve. There is no single solution to IT cost reduction. Considering one of the above is definitely better than none. IT leaders are often reactive about reducing costs but this should be the other way round. IT leaders should be the champions in companies when it comes to cost cutting initiatives.
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