As the Australian and global economies slides towards recession, many businesses will be faced with the need to reduce and optimise costs across all divisions.
Chief Information Officers (CIOs) and IT Managers will not be immune. Over the next 6-12 months, optimising IT expenditure and services while maximising the value of investment will be key.
Nick Kervin, Technology National Leader for BDO, offers his Top 10 areas of focus:
1. Audit all IT spend – line by line
It might sound a bit dull, but going through your IT spend line by line will get you familiar with your expenditure. This is particularly important if you haven’t completed such an activity in a while. It will also help you identify cost saving opportunities to explore in more detail, and spot any costs that might have crept up unnoticed.
2. Review subscriptions and memberships
As part of your expenditure audit, assess the value you are receiving from your subscriptions and memberships. Although possibly not large in terms of cost, you may be able to stop unnecessary spending on goods or services no longer in use.
3. Check all telecommunications services
For some businesses, the pile of monthly telecommunications invoices can be significant. If you are dealing with a high pile, take stock. There could be opportunity to cut or consolidate telephone lines and services that are paid for, but not used.
4. Review in-flight projects – should they be shut down?
This one will take courage. Consider the possibility that you might have projects in progress that it would make more sense to shut down than further pursue. Some IT projects will end up costing you more than the benefit they deliver. Be brave and complete an honest assessment of your projects.
5. Expedite the decommissioning of legacy applications or infrastructure
If you have plans to decommission legacy applications and/or infrastructure, there may be benefit in bringing this work forward. Many have quantifiable financial costs to maintain but are also a drag on your IT resource pool, diverting effort from much higher value tasks.
6. Remove landlines
Many businesses still provide desk phones and landlines to their staff, despite having a mobile device (like a laptop) that can easily become their voice communication tool. The implementation of a VOIP system may provide a significant cost reduction if you are paying for desk bound handsets with supporting systems and services.
7. Review printer numbers
Lease and operating costs of printers can be a serious drain on your budget. Conduct a review of the number of printers vs the number of employees – there might be an opportunity to consolidate and reduce your printing overheads.
8. Implement follow me printing
Studies have estimated that 17% of paper that is printed is not actually needed. With follow me printing, you could look to tap into savings associated with reduced printer usage – less toner and paper used, for example.
9. Review printer contracts/agreements
Printers can be a device that just idles away in the corner without much thought given to the underlying lease or services contract. Much like reviewing your own insurance or mortgage, there might be some significant cost saving potential if you are able to renegotiate or even source a number of competitive quotes to reduce your printing overhead.
10. Stop reimbursing telecoms expense claims
If cash flow is tight, you may want to consider stopping the reimbursement of employee telecommunications expense claims. Doing so might need a change in policy, however employees should be entitled to claim business related expenses on their tax return.