Saving Next Year When Cutting IT Today - Page 2

Oct 21, 2008

Laurie Orlov

Are their greater savings by applying technology to a business area? This is where IT-exec empowerment is mandatory. Let’s say that the firm is insisting on across the board percentage cuts, including IT project and infrastructure management. Let’s say that you know a simple consolidation and shutdown of a business unit data center or aging application will save more than that IT proposed cut. Stand up and tell the CFO or the CEO. Now is the best time for IT execs to remind their boss that all that so-called alignment through business unit autonomy may be too costly.


Have your vendors weighed in with recommendations? Have you asked your vendors to come in and do a free audit and review of how you could cut expenses: cooling costs, maintenance, licenses, aging devices, or whatever? Your vendors spend their entire lives with you talking about partnership. Now is the time to ask them to put their mouths where your money is.


For outsourcing, have you factored in the management costs? Frenzied times produce knee-jerk mandates and just-do-it outsourcing has long been popular. Why are we carrying those expensive people with benefits when we could just hand off the call center to the Philippines or India? Move software development offshore? So, do you know what money you and the business constituents will spend (time, travel, telephony) in managing this “cheaper” resource? Or are you doing hourly wage comparisons that represent only a piece of the puzzle?


My hope is that everyone already uses this framework for making decisions. But just in case, take a deep breath before cutting into your future.


Now an independent consultant, Laurie M. Orlov is a long time practitioner and industry observer. She has over 33 years of IT experience, the last 9 years as a VP and principal analyst, research director and consultant at Forrester Research. Prior to joining Forrester, Laurie held senior IT management positions in various high-tech companies, most recently as a CIO, driving the implementation of eCommerce-based ERP solutions for a mid-market PC reseller.

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