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Finance

IT cost cutting 101

It's a sad commentary on IT spending when panel on how to cut your budget results in a packed room. But folks are looking for cost cutting tips and obviously looking to trim expenses.
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Written by Larry Dignan on

It's a sad commentary on IT spending when panel on how to cut your budget results in a packed room. But folks are looking for cost cutting tips and obviously looking to trim expenses.

Gartner, which advocated that execs prepare to cut their technology budgets months ago, laid out a bevy of tips to cut costs by area. According to Gartner managers should have a cost cutting team in place, an expense goal and plans that assume a sluggish economy in 2009.

Feeling good yet? Here are the best ideas from five Gartner analysts at the firm's Emerging Technologies Conference in Las Vegas.

Among the more notable ones:

Management and people:

  • Cut people first. Freeze headcount, cut regional support and eliminate bonuses.
  • Accelerate centralized and shared services to cut staff in business units.
  • Bring in a bean counter. As if your CFO wasn't enough, Gartner says you should "bring a qualified finance person into your IT leadership team."
  • Control unmanaged costs that can be measured and cut. Think power consumption and printing costs.

Enterprise software:

  • Verify invoices.
  • Kill unused software and the modules that come with them.
  • "Apply more sophisticated negotiations." I read that to mean that you shouldn't be Waste Management.
  • Introduce competition for existing products.

Infrastructure:

  • Use telecom expense management services. Gartner reckons you can save 10 percent to 35 percent on your bill.
  • Cut reliability by one location by "one 9." In other words, not every location needs near 100 percent uptime. Going from 99.99% to 99.9% availability could save you 30 percent of wide area networking (WAN) expenses.
  • Deploy VoIP, which saves 50 percent to 80 percent on maintenance.

Hardware and IT operations:

  • Defer 2008 Windows XP PC replacements to 2009. Microsoft will be pleased with that one.
  • Put off client architecture pilots.
  • Use thin provisioning and date de-duplication to cut storage costs.
  • Consolidate and virtualize servers.

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