Reduce your IT costs – part I

Categories: Careers, Featured
Written By: admin

It’s the third quarter, the economy is tight, or really bad, depending upon your industry and sector. What is the CIO and IT manager to do? Start looking for ways to cut costs while keeping or improving on the efficiency of your IT operations.

What do you do today?

Its time for you to step up to the plate and be seen as a strategic thinker in your IT organization How do you do that? Start looking to improve operations. Do you not have the visibility to do this at a larger level across the entire IT team? You don’t have to be the CIO to start doing this. You just want to be the one leading the effort, and being seen as the person to keep around. Start with your own team, do your homework on what everyone is doing.

Next step – knock on your bosses door and close the door behind you

Thats right, you have done a self assessment, looked at the org chart and your projects for the rest of the year and what is lined up for 2009. Then go to your manager or VP and ask to lead a workshop with your peers on cost savings opportunities. And ask to do it this Saturday or next Saturday.

Set the tone – no frills

Don’t ask for time during the week. Push for a Saturday in the office, and no additional costs, just doughnuts and pizza for lunch.

Need outside assistance?

Now before we go to much further, I am of course plugging my professional services for those who want outside consulting services to help. My schedule is simple. I will come onsite to your organization for 1-2 weeks, do off line analysis for the following 1 to 2 weeks, and return on site for a final presentation to deliver my findings. I will also provide an optional 40 hours of telephone or email support to help you with any issues implementing my findings and recommendations. The time involved will vary based upon the size of your organization.

My fee? Even simpler. Starting at $15,000 for an average enterprise of 10,000 users, I guarantee to help you achieve 200% of my fee in HARD DOLLAR savings within 12 months, or I will refund my fee. None of that soft dollar nonsense. I will help you identify and safe hard dollars, or will issue you a full refund. As a CIO or IT director or manager in today’s market place, you need to find savings, improve efficiencies and cut costs. And not reduce services, impact your SLA agreements, or lose key players. It’s a tough market place out there. But you know – and your key players know – that they can find a job.

Tip #1 – Staffing freeze

Let’s start with tip #1 – if your organization has not done so already, implement an immediate hiring freeze. Keep all open positions open, do not stop internal transfers. But stop any positions from being filled with outside staff for the next 90 days. Exceptions? In writing, to the CIO, and only by the VP or director making the request – in front of their peers and the CIO. If you really need the help, fight for it and do it in front of everyone else.

Tip #2 – Staffing assignments

When is the last time you sat down with your peers and reviewed your staffing assignments? Have you done a peer review of what each of your teams are doing to look for overlaps, opportunities for resource sharing, or resource relocation within the organization?

A hard dollar example – fill a higher paying vacancy on a tier 3 support team with a star player from the Service Center while retaining their tier 1 support salary and benefits. They have an upward curve for future increases, you bring someone up to help with the work at Tier 3, show the rest of the team the potential growth within the organization. And your star players at Tier 3 have a chance to offload some of their more common daily and weekly activities while working on higher level architecture and strategic work.

The Service Center doesn’t want to lose its top performer. Work out a flexible shift time – have them at each job 2 or 3 days per week, or one week on, one week off. It’s about working with your peers and being seen as the driver for IT cost savings. Hard dollar savings don’t come from cost cutting all the time. And the manager seen as a hatchet man is in a position to be blamed for all future SLA issues on your scorecard.

Don’t try and save a few dollars today and make yourself the target of political pressures the rest of the quarter and into next year. Making scorecards worse will expose you as the #1 target on my #2 tip – who is impact your scorecard negatively?

My qualifications

I have 25 years of experience in IT and Finance as a manager, director, controller and CFO. I liked everyone else has a suit and a laptop bag and an MBA. Want proof? I’ll send you a copy of my Sallie Mae student loan bill. I have worked with 3 or the Big 4 Accounting and Consulting firms, 3 of the top 10 law firms, 3 of the top 10 teleco’s, 1 of the top 10 insurance companies, and 2 of the top 20 health care providers in the United States. Within the past 15 years.

I understand finance, management and business. And I understand IT. An IT manager has to be both a manager and an IT person at the same time. And here today, in this climate, you have to be a manager first. Let’s put our heads together and help you solve your organizations needs to make it out of the current climate not only better off, but put you on the track for a better career. Rough times are when leaders are born. Those that rise about in crisis are seen by everyone. Or do you want to be that bottom 70% of the mix who is just sitting in their office today hoping no one calls them in for a 4:30 PM meeting?

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