How to reduce IT spending without sacrificing performance

Worldwide IT spending is set to grow 8% in 2024, according to Gartner Inc. With AI and automation, as well as cloud-driven software and IT services spending, forecast to steal the march on market share, it’s a welcome tonic from the belt-tightening trends we’re witnessing across other industries. But that doesn’t mean SMEs should be frivolous.

James Wood, senior sales support at Vapour, explores how firms can maintain a robust and future-proofed tech stack while being modest about the budgets at their disposal. 

It’s been an interesting year for finance in the IT space. Cloud vendor price increases, forced by inflation and coupled with the growing utilisation of emerging tech, have been two major influences in materialising more spending. And cyber security has topped the table of categories planned for the most investment.

The somewhat unchartered territory of AI has effectively scared organisations into maximising the defences guarding their IT estates. Of course, the circumstances are far from ideal. Yet, with attack surfaces growing and threat vectors becoming more complex, it’s a bonus to see businesses taking their systems and data protection more seriously — not least when it comes to the cloud, where ‘out of sight, out of mind’ seems to be a common line of thought.

As John-David Lovelock, distinguished VP analyst at Gartner, explores, a wave of ‘change fatigue’ is also pushing some spending into next year. As well as cyber security initiatives, organisations are placing cost control, efficiencies, and automation front-and-centre of 2024 strategies. In other words, delivering returns is key. 

So, how can businesses get the balance right for the executive board, and ensure they are not overspending on their IT while still maintaining optimal performance?

Explore what you’re already working with

To truly understand where you need to pull the plug or pack in further investment, you need to take a closer look at your existing IT infrastructure. This audit isn’t just a laborious housekeeping task — it sets the stage for savvy, cost-effective decision-making. And remember, out of sight doesn’t mean out of mind. So, when it comes to decommissioning and optimising your tech stack, be sure to pay particular attention to your cloud estate.

Look at the bigger cloud picture 

While the cloud’s limitless resources at the click of a button offer unprecedented opportunities, it can also lead to substantial costs if not strategically managed. Harnessing digital transformation the right way is key to taming spiralling budgets before it’s too late. As well as ‘rightsizing’ resources to meet demands, cutting on-premise ties can make a major difference — reducing maintenance and human resources needed to manage on-premise kit. When there are simple and accessible options like public cloud, it can be easy to overlook more cost-effective options like private alternatives. Researching best-fit options is key.

Keep cyber security in firm focus

Can you really put a price on peace of mind? While requirements will differ drastically from one organisation to the next, having an adequate level of protection against emerging threats — both external and internal — is non-negotiable. Allocating resources to robust security measures isn't just a wise investment; it's a fundamental step in safeguarding sensitive data and maintaining the trust of clients and stakeholders alike. So, don’t let it be the first element to be stripped from the budget. After all, a breach could cost far more than preventative measures in the long run.

Implement efficient vendor management

Tech partners should be making life easier for you, not syphoning your budget. Negotiating for favourable terms, exploring competitive pricing, and consolidating services can transform vendor management into a powerful cost-saving tool while optimising value. It’s about unlocking essential services without breaking the bank or compromising quality.

Tap into strategic automation

Identify areas for automation to not only streamline processes but also to reduce operational costs significantly. It’s not about replacing humans — far from it. Beyond efficiency, strategic automation liberates your team, allowing them to focus on high-value tasks and fostering a productive IT environment ready to tackle the challenges of the future.

Embrace flexible budgeting and forecasting 

Think budgets are set in stone? Think again. Regularly revisiting and adjusting budgets ensures financial flexibility and allows you to align resources with strategic objectives. In a rapidly changing technological landscape, flexibility is not just an option; it's a necessity for organisations seeking to stay ahead of the curve, while efficiently managing their financial resources.

Empower your team through training 

A well-informed team can have a significant impact on your bottom line. That’s why empowering your workforce with the skills to navigate IT resources wisely is key. Invest in comprehensive training programs and awareness campaigns to not only reduce the risk of unnecessary expenditures but also foster a culture of continuous improvement and cost-conscious decision-making.

Foster collaboration and communication 

Fostering collaboration between IT teams and the executive board ensures that strategic decisions align seamlessly with both technological requirements and budget constraints. It’s about more than avoiding misunderstandings. Cultivate a shared vision, where every decision contributes to the company’s overall success, and technology blends with fiscal responsibility well beyond the C-suite.

Continuous monitoring and optimisation 

Your IT strategy should be a moveable feast, in need of constant fine-tuning and adjustments. Monitoring and optimisation of the tech stack are crucial for several reasons. Firstly, they enable organisations to proactively manage IT spending, ensuring financial resources are used efficiently. Secondly, continuous monitoring allows for the early detection and mitigation of potential issues, minimising downtime and enhancing system reliability. It also ensures your infrastructure remains aligned with evolving business needs and the dynamic technological landscape, fostering agility and responsiveness at all times.

Want a tech-agnostic audit of your current practices to see how they measure up? Get in touch with our team of experts, today.

 

Posted By Vapour Comms Team
23/11/2023

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