The Business-Technology Weave

Aug 28 2010   10:57AM GMT

Organizational Challenges in the Face of New Budget Realities



Posted by: David Scott
Tags:
budget optimization
business alignment
business budget
business efficiency
business support
diminishing return
economic impact
IT alignment
IT budget
IT efficiency
IT sourcing
IT support

IT and Business folks:  Whether you’re a C-Level executive, or positioned at, say, a HelpDesk, or you’re a network manager, account executive, etc., you can help with something very important these days given the economic climate.

You can help to make budgets more efficient. 

Today, efforts to reduce cost in the face of difficult economic times cannot be handled with temporary cuts, or episodes of suspended or revolving service – at least not entirely.  Further, once you’ve eliminated the obvious budget “fluff” and other “nice to haves”… we find that we really get down to the skinny.  We have to put on our thinking caps… we have to get truly imaginative.

Let’s also mention:  The smart organization provides incentives and (usually cash) awards to those who help to make the organization more efficient and cost-effective.

In scrubbing for savings and efficiencies, look to similar organizations to see what they’ve done.  Also, participate wherever possible in strategic groups, inside and out, that not only can help to create your future – but to create that future as economically and as powerfully as possible.

Keep these traits firmly fixed in mind when reviewing expenditures against that which must be done:  Quality, effectiveness and efficiency… and necessity.  Ever run across something that runs great, is perfectly sized (in terms of optimization and reliability), and does a great job of production… of something… that no one is using??  Or that gets produced elsewhere, in a discreet, tandem system?  Or that comes from one area, and with minor re-purposing, could serve other areas?

I’ve seen that plenty – and likely so have you.  Regardless, watch for redundancies and wasted efforts and resources.  So –

1.    Survey for reusable frameworks and solutions that can be repurposed, or whose deliveries and services can be widened, for other areas.

 

2.   Look for strategic partners and constituent groups who can partner with you in leveraging ideas, resources, and solutions to the common good of the whole – granting economies of scale.

 

3.   IT leaders:  Lead discussions in “business language” in seeking negotiation, acquiescence, collaboration, and potential compromise between business units and departments in capitalizing on best leverage of resources and best returns.

 

4.   All should be looking to understand as wide an enterprise context as possible in seeking to capture best quality, efficiency and effectiveness; within practicable limits (that is, in view of your authority, available time, etc. – don’t enter a zone of diminishing return).

 

5.   Watch for opportunities to educate external controlling or influencing bodies, such as boards and governing agencies.  Seek their help, or at least their understandings, regarding your efforts for budget efficiencies, thereby thwarting inadvertent harming circumstances that can damage your efforts of spending control.

 

6.   Ensure “right sourcing” of core services, procurements of product, etc.  If there is something you haven’t shopped in awhile, shop around!

 

Also keep in mind that, for some areas, there are likely new directions to go in reaching destinations of “new normals.”  New normals that are more effective and efficient.  These will differ according to your organization’s mission, size, and related suite of products, services, and other resources that enable the conduct of your organization’s business.  Again, look to like-organizations for ideas, and churn through the list above.

Effective budgets are always in fashion, but now more than ever there is real opportunity to shine in this area.  I hope you score some great ideas, and… I hope your organization is savvy enough to provide meaningful rewards.

August 28th:  On this day in 1922, WEAF in New York City airs the first  radio commercial (Queensboro Realty – $100 for 10 minutes).

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