How Can It Budgets Stay Efficient without the Hassle of across the Board Cuts?

In the ongoing battle against the current economy most companies are looking to cut costs and IT budgets are usually the first to go. How can IT budgets stay efficient without the hassle of across the board cuts?


Paul Hoffmann (Senior Director Cloud & Technology Solutions, Ingram Micro)
I've found that there are usually lots of options for improving organizational efficiencies within most IT departments. To begin with, it is useful to take an inventory of IT. By this, I mean look at the physical assets, people, projects, tools and processes. From there, you can go a few different routes. One is to try to better align yourself with your user base. That is, spend some time determining what exactly the corporation (particularly the executives who are ultimately your sponsors) need from IT. Then, go back to the inventory and align and prioritize all things with what the user community needs. You'll find that there are a number of IT tasks that can be terminated or delayed. By focusing on the user community, you also naturally get happy users which helps move IT more towards being an essential resource in budget talks.

Other options include outsourcing some tasks, improving processes and retiring unused systems and applications.
4 Additional Answers
Lisabeth Smith
Contact me at We offer solutions to help you optimize your processes and reduce costs at a very reasonable rate. We also offer extensive reporting that helps you as an organization justify your existence within the company.
Jenni Weigel
One way of reducing IT spend is to look at maintenance contracts. This is an area where companies repeatedly over spend and is an easy way to cut current costs and free up capital, while not spending any additional money. We have been saving companies 30-40% moving from the OEM support model to a Multi Platform/Third Party Maintenance model. This is especially the route to take for DR sites, test and dev environments, etc. where there is no need to spend the amount of money it takes to get OEM support.

Another option is to look at refurbished equipment. Again, this is a simple way to reduce costs especially for non-production environments. If you would like more details on either of these, please let me know. My company has helped over 3000 customers across the country get creative when it comes to IT spend and lowering the cost of ownership. I hope this helps.
Bruce Webster
I wrote a series of columns (some with slide shows) on this subject for the online version of Baseline Magazine. Go to the link below and start reading with the December column:

Jason Abrahamson (Service Delivery Manager, Platforms & Operations Services, The Walt Disney Company)
This is really simple: Take whatever budget you want, multiply by 3 and request that amount.

They will cut it in half immediately (as they do with every budget), then go back, adjust, if you're lucky you will get 150% of what you want, if you're not lucky you will get 100% of what you want, if you're REALLY unlucky you will get 75% of what you want.

A very wise CIO taught me that. No matter the climate this will always get the IT budget you need. Also table any projects that you requested but aren't mandatory and propose you cut those from your budget right away to keep the knife from slicing.

I had the inside scoop at a company I worked at once that they were going to take the knife to everybody, so I quickly counter-acted by proposing my own cuts out of the budget to the finance committee -- I managed to get cut the least out of all departments by being proactive.
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