The Most Tactful Ways to Reduce Your IT Spend
Riddle me this: If your IT spend is spiraling out of control, and you lack the data and/or oversight fix it…how can you possibly expect to get a clear picture of – much less fix – your IT spending commitments?
The short answer: You can’t.
But you’re not alone.
According to an annual study performed by our partners at Flexera1, getting on top of (and staying on top of) IT expenditures is a widespread challenge for many businesses big and small. In this article, we’ll look at the most common issues surrounding IT cost management and also delve into how best to overcome these issues in order to tactfully reduce your IT costs.
60% of Organizations Concerned About Poor Reporting
We’ve all been rightly excited about the potential of IT virtualization and the ‘Everything as a Service’ business model, mostly because of the ability to slash IT spending by using such services. But for many on the front line of IT service delivery, the idea of cost savings remains elusively that – potential.
For some granular data on how companies are managing their IT expenditure, we looked at Flexera’s 2020 State of Tech Spend Survey, the same study we mentioned earlier.
Flexera’s in-depth survey reveals that the main challenge for businesses looking to take back control of their spend is directly related to access to IT spend reports. In fact, 61% of respondents claimed that not having immediate access to spending reports was their main issue for controlling costs.
43% of those responding to the survey said that collecting overall IT spend data was their biggest concern, with another 38% citing problems specifically with ‘per application’ spend reporting.
Primary Challenges of IT Budget Management
When it comes to managing IT spend, the main challenges reported were: reducing manual processes (43%), avoiding waste (38%) and understanding the costs of delivered services (31%).
While increases in vendor pricing wasn’t seen as a major issue, 61% of companies did report that this was something that concerned them, with 52% admitting that contract negotiations are a big challenge.
More than half of survey respondents also found it tough to obtain reliable spend data and to track and control that spend.
Although only a small percentage of organizations (12%) cited it as a major concern, the decentralization of IT spend management was raised as an issue.
An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure
Flexera’s research, while well-conducted by a panel of industry experts, doesn’t exactly tell us anything monumental – it’s not a secret that many IT departments have a hard time tracking their spend, which makes for an even more difficult time trying to remediate spending issues. This is a common refrain from a vast majority of companies, no matter the size.
If you, like so many of your peers, dream of the day where you have complete control over your IT budget, both spend visibility and vendor cost management need to be prioritized.
There are two logical routes for those who wish to gain better insight on where their money is going:
Invest in technology that synchronizes IT spend data visualization and reporting across management units
Re-centralize IT spend control, placing the responsibility squarely with the CIO rather than delegating it to department heads
It may also be worth changing (or at least reviewing) your company’s internal reporting structure. It’s easier said than done, but hear us out. Within most companies (54%), the CIO reports directly to the CEO. In roughly a quarter of others, the CIO reports directly to the CFO instead.
Both structures have their pros and cons, but if you find that much of your frustration over budgeting is tied to how information, reports and/or approvals travel through your company, it could be worth trialing a different approach.
Proper IT cost management is a fully hands-on venture. It requires not only an efficient reporting structure internally, but also an in-depth audit of your current licensing agreements and software subscriptions to understand where your money is going (and how/where it could potentially be put to better use).
There some key questions you should be prepared to ask yourself, like, ‘Am I using the most cost-efficient solutions and service tiers for my company’s IT needs?’ and, ‘Are there services we no longer use (or use less than before) that are still being billed (i.e. Shadow IT)?’
Not exactly brain busters, but you’d be amazed at how many business leaders ignore these types of questions for one reason or another. But answering them honestly based on a little research can go a long way towards getting your budget back in line.
Get Your Budget Back in Control – With Shamrock’s Help
We get it – the day-to-day of most IT teams can be chaotic. Between making sure your network is functioning properly, helping staff members with inevitable device malfunctions or user errors, securing edge devices and repelling potential cyberattacks, and keeping corporate stakeholders happy, you’re tasked with putting out fires all day, every day. Not to mention that if you ever find the time to explore a new solution or vendor, the options are endless and sometimes confusing.
That’s why Shamrock exists. We’ve built our reputation on helping enterprise companies solve any challenge that comes their way – from full market studies and service audits, to contract negotiations and site readiness. Our entire suite of services is geared towards reducing IT overhead including cloud/IT/telecom cost reduction, detailed financial reporting and budget forecasting (including a free savings assessment).
We also have the largest partner portfolio in the industry comprised of all the top service providers across telecom, UCaaS/HPBX, cloud, cybersecurity and data center solutions.
Best of all, we guarantee the best price on any product or service from any provider. Our vendor-neutral approach provides you with all the information and tools you need to make the best decision for your business, while leaving that decision entirely up to you. We arm you with the advice and expertise to make the most informed decision possible.
Talk to Shamrock today – our consultations are free, and you’ll be one step closer to reigning in your IT spend once and for all.
1 2020 Flexera State of the Cloud Report, https://info.flexera.com/SLO-CM-REPORT-State-of-the-Cloud-2020