Spend Money to Save Money–5 Ways to Reduce IT Spending
Today’s economic world isn’t exactly comforting–the fundamental of running a business now is finding ways to cut spending around every corner. This can be a daunting and complicated challenge because cutting spending in one category usually entails more spending in another category. For instance, cutting employee training costs can often lead to requiring an expensive third-party specialist to handle unique problems for you. The trick is to know exactly what your decisions are going to generate and–even though some cuts may seem like great decisions now–what negative ramifications they could have in the future.
When talking IT spending, it mainly boils down to having control over your situation and being able to adapt to the ever-changing business world. In fact, it’s the exact opposite of ‘cutting’. Being precise about where to inject cash in your business is the ultimate solution to high IT costs. Let’s take a look at 5 ways you can reduce your IT spending today.
1. Consolidate your business
Consolidation can be a lot work for some businesses, but the benefits and advantages gained through it are quite extensive. We’re talking about internal things here–servers, equipment, your overall IT arsenal, etc. Consolidating these elements can improve your control, make it easier to adapt and, more importantly, reduce costs of ownership. President Obama himself implements the consolidation of military data centers in order to reduce IT costs; toning down the number of software applications being used and simplifying networks results in less IT spending for support, testing and maintenance.
2. Stay relevant
One of the major culprits of increased IT spending is not being up to date. Today’s top IT organizations put a strong emphasis on continual upgrades because they understand that enhancements ultimately reduce downtime and clarify the management of long-term costs. In the smaller picture, it may seem like upgrading your complete IT foundation wouldn’t be financially efficient, but the simple truth about the bigger picture is that upgrading now means less problems in the future, which means less money spent on fixes and compensation for downtime.
3. Capitalize on a managed service
When a global drop in IT spending was observed amongst businesses following 2008, an ironic boost in managed services spending was concurrently noted. This polar-growth is actually quite typical when dramatic IT cuts are made on a larger scale–it generally points to the fact that companies use managed services to maintain current technology assets when further developments are being put on hold. Not only do managed services usually offer the highest tier IT and applications, but they also make it easier for you to manage your costs. You’ll be able to select from a wide-range of monthly costs and decide exactly what you want IT personnel focusing on at all times. It also doesn’t hurt that you’ll most likely be receiving 24/7 support availability.
4. Analyze your current situation
This is pretty much a no-brainer, yet it is often overlooked. If you take the time to assess your current IT infrastructure, you’ll be able to target particular aspects that need upgrades without having to do a complete, redundant overhaul. An assessment doesn’t cost much either–if you conduct analyses with the right people, you’ll identify areas that need improvements and receive recommendations for how to move forward. There is no commitment; it’s just a simple and much needed examination.
5. Train your own people
If hiring third-party IT management doesn’t sit well with you, then you can always train your own people in the art of technology. Research gathered from experts in the IT niche shows that as enterprise information and data quantities increase, usability and company knowledge tends to plummet. Such a critical inverse relationship has compelled many companies to initiate internal training programs to keep their employees up to date and knowledgeable about the technology they are working with. Depending on the complexity of your equipment and applications, investing in the expertise of your personnel can save you a lot of time and money in the future. This approach is typically a trade-off in respect to other categories of spending, so you’ll need to do a substantial amount of weighing before executing such a plan.
There are a lot of other ways you can reduce your IT spending. The important thing is to take control of your IT budget by moving it out of the hands of a redundant IT department and moving it into your own hands. This isn’t to say an IT department is irrelevant (in many scenarios, it’s essential), but a general rule of thumb when it comes to any aspect of business is to solve problems with integral ideas rather than money. In the business world, great ideas become investments because, although they do carry some degree of financial spending, they inevitably help you save money in the future.
 http://www.yeoandyeo.com/resources/business-individual/top-10-ways-to-reduce-it-spending (Retrieved 5-8-2012)
 http://www.doncio.navy.mil/ContentView.aspx?ID=3583 (Retrieved 5-8-2012)
 http://stacommunity.com/2012/04/23/how-much-it-spending-is-enough/ (Retrieved 5-8-2012)
 http://www.mspalliance.com/2012/01/2012-it-spending-slowing-but-will-managed-services/ (Retrieved 5-8-2012)
 https://www.semsphere.com/en/it-professionals (Retrieved 5-8-2012)