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Updated by Charles Bystock on 08/26/2014

fool-proof-it-cost-reduction-ideas-1IT cost reduction ideas are always in high demand. No matter where you are in your  cost-cutting program, there’s usually yet another way to reduce further. Bear in mind, though, that most enterprise CIOs, CFOs and CEOs are now more closely focused on optimizing their spend, not simply lowering costs. They’re thinking strategically, not just with dollar signs in mind.

If you need additional, fool-proof IT cost reduction ideas, here are five that have proven to be especially effective for other enterprises. If you’ve been-there-done-that, could it be you overlooked something?

1. Squeeze more out of your existing systems.

This is always the first place to look for greater efficiencies that can save money outright and save time, too. Yes, you’re already working on this, but how thorough was your original assessment when you evaluated IT infrastructure and costs? As companies use their IT systems in broader ways, there are inherently more places where inefficiency could creep in.

2. Make better use of your IT staff.

They’re probably already feeling squeezed. The complexity of their work environment keeps increasing, their fellow employees and your customers are demanding more and faster IT services, and now you want further cost reductions. But are you really using their special skills and experience as effectively as you could be?

When was the last time you did an old-fashioned time-and-motion study in the IT department? If your people are spending an inordinate amount of time on mundane operations and management and support tasks, you’re squandering unparalleled opportunity to put their smarts to work on long-term corporate strategic thinking, planning, new product development or building more valuable relationships with outsourcing providers. Automation saves time and money.

3. Streamline.

Have you done everything you can to reschedule workloads or take other steps to eliminate or smooth major fluctuations in your MIPS usage? If not, you’re leaving money on the table. 

And consider how you might get rid of some of those expensive software licenses, another place where large enterprises often find significant IT cost reduction ideas. The state of Wyoming switched to Google Apps for Governments for their employees statewide and reduced their Microsoft license fees a whopping 75%. What would that look like on your bottom line? Of course your situation is different, but the concept is the same.

4. Do you really want or need all this stuff?

Maybe it’s time to let go of your beloved legacy systems in favor of a newer, more innovative alternative. Wholesale transformation may not make sense for your enterprise, especially if you’re heavily reliant on mainframes or you’re handling extremely sensitive data and transactions. But this isn’t an all-or-nothing proposition, and the benefits of embracing IT change are well-known.

If you haven’t already moved to some type of hybrid environment that includes cloud-based services as well as traditional systems, it’s time to take the cloud more seriously. It’s becoming pervasive, even among the largest companies, and you’re losing competitive ground as well as wasting money if you aren’t making smart use of offsite opportunities.

There are plenty of IT cost reduction ideas to help you move incrementally toward the cloud, if that’s the most comfortable approach for your organization. And when you offload workflows, you’re contributing to Idea #2 above, too.

5. Get unbiased advice to figure out.

It’s possible you’re just too close to your corporate forest to see the “cost trees” you could cut. Fresh, independent eyes see more clearly, helping you pinpoint the strongest opportunities to save money while also saving you time. Outside guidance can help allay internal fears and frustrations about change and help you stay focused on other business at hand.

Knowledgeable, well-experienced consultants bring an additional benefit, too – their own list of favorite, fool-proof IT cost reduction ideas.


Photo Credit: @68751915@N05 via Flickr.