More and more, I’ve been hearing from firms speak about how to manage their IT budgets in a time of rapid application proliferation, storage, and staff expenses while corporate budgets are not keeping pace. Let’s face it, while SaaS offerings were a boon to initial IT budgets, the growth of use, security expenses, and IT staff costs have been rising now for a few years.
This has been putting a kink in many firms’ future growth planning, as the acceleration economy challenges us all to do more with less, even when less costs more than it did last year — thank you inflation!
In fact, many IT professionals are starting to take budget cuts that are coming down from corporate. They’re struggling with how to accept those cuts and continue to deliver the innovations that the firm relies upon for growth. As such, I thought I would address that head-on today by talking about how partners can help you conserve and reduce the spend on technology for your firm.
Auditing Your Current Spend
Let’s start with doing an audit of your current spend. These used to be super popular during the pure telecom solution days with TEM (Telecom Expense Management) firms saving corporations substantial fees for their network, cell, and phone services. While these still exist, now as IT, you need to take a much broader approach. You need to look not just at the expenses your team may be responsible for but also at the rogue (shadow IT) and planned expenses elsewhere in the broader corporate organization.
Over the past few years, many departments — including marketing, finance, operations, and sales — have all contracted for and arranged to use cloud-based solutions, many of which were frankly oversold and are underutilized or poorly utilized.
Now, while I am not advocating for IT to kill all of these spends, I am advocating for a little more usage and comparative pricing control at many firms. Looking carefully at these spends can, and will, save most firms some precious budget dollars without impacting performance or solution availability.
This is where partners can help you not only understand market rates but also to evaluate usage, need for solutions, and true user bases. Additionally, they can negotiate better rates on your renewals, migrations, or less complex technology solutions as well. This translates into getting more from your dollars spent.
Automating IT Budgets
Another area where partners can help is with automation. Many routine IT tasks can and should be automated and there are fantastic AI-powered solutions for IT operations (AI Ops). These scalable and intelligent platforms can significantly lower complexity and costs for many firms.
Now look, investing in AI Ops does require a budget. However, the savings that can come from automating routine tasks, discovery, and management are generally far outweighed by the savings from the solution. One tool that can help you determine if AI Ops is a good area for savings is the ScienceLogic AI Ops Value Calculator. This tool will help you calculate the potential value of making the switch to an intelligent, automated future.
Again, this is where a partner can help not just by selling you a great AI Ops solution, like ScienceLogic, but also by evaluating what needs to be operationalized and where to move or upskill IT staff – freeing up your most valuable resource, people, to focus on more meaningful work.
Partners Can Help With Staffing
My final point is to leverage partners to ensure you conserve budget with the right staffing. Sure, you can staff your own team for a fix, break, repair, help desk, security, etc. But why would you do that in today’s high-cost environment? The average MSP can save you time and money, and can still provide a very high level of IT services and support for your firm.
Outsourcing some or all your routine IT jobs to a third-party partner is now more popular than ever. It’s something to truly evaluate if you are looking to conserve budget and repurpose your staff for higher skilled tasks.
A word of warning: Don’t allow your finance team (sorry finance folks!) to do a straight-line analysis comparing the MSP cost-per-seat (user) to your internal IT costs. Those simple analyses often miss things like turnover, cost of training, management burden, staffing issues, and the rising complexity of staff. Make sure you insist on a full evaluation before deciding outsourcing to an MSP is too expensive.
Final Thoughts on IT Budgets & Partners
Finally, remember that as in all things “partnering”, there are different answers for different businesses. Use lists like the MSP501 to find the perfect partner for your business and then challenge them to share in your burden and offer you services to save you money and propel your business to the next level. By working together, you can and will achieve the budgets you need while not sacrificing the innovation the firm relies upon you to deliver.
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