Wood Words

Working Leaner in IT without Compromising Quality

“Do more with less.”

It’s an overused and grossly oversimplified cliché thrown around too often in IT organizations.  Still, as a technology manager, your challenge is to find creative ways to get your projects completed – and maintain the quality of your work – while working lean.

Across industries and around the world, IT organizations are overhauling their budgets by controlling spending and reducing costs.  How can you do it, too?  Here are six tips for working leaner in IT without compromising quality:

Assemble an evaluation team.  Gather your top IT engineers and at least one member from both accounting and legal.  Charge them with examining every aspect of your IT department to identify:

  • potential areas for savings;
  • potentially wasteful processes;
  • shortcuts to your current operational methodologies.

In addition to providing fresh, interdepartmental perspective, this team can also help you prioritize initiatives by assessing feasibility and quantifying potential savings.

Reallocate IT expenditures.  Work with your accounting team member to see if you can push some of your IT budget items into other departmental budgets.  For example, it you support equipment or systems that serve only a single department, you may be able to move those line items off your budget.  While this tactic may not make you more “popular” with other department heads, it will force them to decide if the equipment and systems are worth the additional costs to their budgets.

Offer service level options.  Is a “one size fits all,” premium service model keeping your costs elevated?  Reevaluate your service levels to determine if they are higher, across the board, than necessary.  If so, you may be able to reduce costs by offering different service levels, based upon what users really need – not just what they want.

Consider alternative delivery models.  Not every service is right for outsourcing; however, you may want to review commodity or non-customized applications, to see if cheaper alternatives (such as hosted services or SaaS) are available outside of your organization.  Outsourcing these services can eliminate the cost of servers, software, infrastructure, administrative labor, facilities and everything else associated with that application.

Standardize servers.  If your company is like most, you have a mix of server types and vendors.  Everything from maintenance processes to firmware revisions and upgrade processes can differ from vendor to vendor.  All this variation translates into more complex, time-consuming and costly support – placing a significant strain on your staff and budgets.  Standardizing servers and OS’s can greatly simplify support and reduce procurement costs.  In the long run, the initial investment needed to make the switch will be more than offset by the increases in departmental efficiency.

Convert trash to treasure.  Stop throwing away your old equipment.  Delegate the task of selling your computers, cell phones, peripherals, etc. on eBay, or to a local dealer.  In addition to reclaiming some money from salvaged gear, it also eliminates the cost of disposing of the IT equipment (some cities charge as much as $50 to dispose of a single monitor).

One of the most effective techniques for reducing IT expenses is to convert labor from a fixed to a variable expense through the greater use of flexible staffing.  With over 20 years in IT staffing, Wood Personnel can help you design a cost-effective IT staffing solution to help you “do more with less.”  Contact us today to schedule some time to discuss your staffing strategy.