2020 has been a tough year for companies in the UK. With economic conditions uncertain and many businesses reeling from the pandemic, IT departments might find themselves having to do more with less - or at least with the same budget as last year. How can you make your IT budget go further? Here are some tips.
Moving capital costs into operating expenses like cloud computing services makes it easier to deliver services without a large up-front investment. But…
…while cloud vendors often promise to save customers money, poorly managed cloud services can sometimes spin out of control. This is especially true in areas like infrastructure as a service (IaaS) where companies can quickly provision assets like virtual machines that they pay for by the second but then forget about. Auditing your cloud services and then revising your contract and cloud management practices can help to avoid cloud shock and claw back some valuable expenditure.
Somewhere in your IT budget lurks a payment you're making for a service you aren't taking advantage of. It could be a IT support contract that you're not using all the credits for, a flat fee service that rarely gets called upon, or a set of inactive or unassigned software licences. Now's the time to uncover the waste and see if you can claw back the cost by renegotiating or terminating a contract.
While you're at it, scour your accounts for money that you've allocated as a line item but ended up not spending at all. Reallocate these funds to something that really needs them.
Some IT managers see a sunk investment as untouchable. A project in which the company has already invested time and money often escapes budget cutbacks because companies don't want to waste what they've already spent. Rethink this idea and explore the current projected ROI against the cost of completion. Is the project still strategically important to the business? In some cases, a deferral or even a complete cancellation may make more sense.
On that theme, consider designing new projects to be modular where possible, delivering small bursts of functionality. This incremental approach to projects is the basis of agile development. It may enable you to make a quick win for a relatively small investment this year rather than sinking large amounts into a project that won't deliver anything for a year or two. You can follow up this victory with other small deliverables, each of which delivers value. Microservices-based software projects are good examples of this approach.
Weed out complexity and needless duplication in areas ranging from security systems to legacy software. Buy appliances handling unified threat management that cover multiple security functions in one integrated stack and are easier to manage.
Audit your applications to see if there are some budget-slurping legacy systems that overlap in functionality. Combining them will save licence costs, valuable maintenance and management overhead, and possibly some hardware too.
You really need that on-premise server now but you just don't have the budget for it this year. Talk with the vendor to explore financing options or leasing. It can help you deliver the functionality you need now without breaking the bank.
Variable costs are fees that you can adjust up or down based on usage, and they're excellent areas to find savings. You might be able to reduce your contractor count for a project and extend its delivery deadline or order fewer consumables.
Times may be tight, but with some lateral thinking you can refine your company's IT budget to ensure that every penny is well spent.