These can be tough times for many organizations, and no one is immune: Whether small, medium, or large business. Of course, prudent fiscal management should always be desired, and in fashion anyway.
But in hard economic times some of us find ourselves tasked with sharpening our pencils with a razor, and looking very hard at areas we thought we’d never have to shave.
Executives are focusing on budget and related potentials for cuts – and everyone down the line is going to be tasked with producing savings. In these regards, once tasked, you’d better serve something up.
Quite naturally, you will shine like a star if you can boost efficiency and effectiveness while simultaneously realizing savings in cost.
The effective IT leader will examine all areas, and areas anew: Cloud computing and its yield of scalable and on-demand resources can reduce cost; virtualization and its yield of most favorable utilization of infrastructure and its grant of very efficient management; examine Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and benefits that may apply to your environment and organization.
Further, you should be seeking business enablements via online collaboration methods, such as shared work spaces and documents, and web and open source applications. Also look to the increased efficiency granted to staff by use of portable devices such as smart phones, iPods, Blackberries, etc., especially as paired with social websites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and MySpace. (Ensure robust acceptable use and security policies here).
Review your outsourced support, and be certain you are right sourcing. Is there something you are struggling to handle internally that is better shifted outside? Often this shift frees up IT staff to take over other areas that they are more suited to support – you may find that you can change the dynamic to your budget advantage.
Things to keep in mind: When examining cost reductions, also think cost efficiency: Are there things IT can do to enhance revenue? Are there technologies or methodologies that can be implemented to save costs in, for example, utilities? Savings by granting an increase in operational effectiveness?
Is there an opportunity to coordinate the IT budget with other enterprise planning and budgeting in achieving economies of scale?
In all regards, in these trying times, the IT leader should be on constant review and alert for assists to the budget.
September 2nd: On this day in 1944 during World War II, George H. W. Bush ejects from a burning plane.