In a fiercely competitive environment where cost efficiencies matter, CIOs and other C-level executives are always interested in new and innovative ways to hold the line when it comes to IT expenditures. Through popular social media networks like Twitter and LinkedIn, today’s CIOs are actively sharing IT cost-cutting strategies in hopes of gaining greater insight and knowledge into their operations, as well as an economical edge against the competition.
As a result, many C-level executives have developed a variety of approaches toward reducing IT costs. Here is a sampling of the ideas shared.

13 Key Strategies

  1. Maintain department staffing vacancies to further reduce IT costs. By leaving IT departments understaffed by 5 percent, some companies hope to recoup their staffing and resource costs.
  2. Shift IT team focus toward core competencies while relocating other ancillary functions to third-party organizations. Many companies have already questioned the wisdom of maintaining certain IT functions under their umbrella, as these functions often take focus away from their core competencies. Releasing such responsibilities to outside specialists creates greater incentives for IT departments, especially from fiscal and efficiency-related standpoints.
  3. Embrace the centralized virtual desktop model. This model is intended to replace the traditional cyclic PC desktop estate refresh, resulting in a more efficient use of IT resources at a lower cost.
  4. Expand the use of open-source alternatives for established industry applications.
  5. Develop greater openness toward capturing IT cost-cutting ideas from the field.
  6. Enhance employee training through self-paced learning.
  7. Promote shared services and products throughout IT and other departments.
  8. Harness the full potential of hardware and software assets.
  9. Review and realign management to technical staff ratios. A growing number of companies are doing this to reflect changing staffing needs and the continuing push toward improved IT efficiency. Such ratios may grow or shrink based on the company’s immediate and long-term goals.
  10. Realign team structures and restructure incentives to provide greater efficiencies and cost-effectiveness.
  11. Place vendor and product selection under greater scrutiny via auditing.
  12. Renegotiate IT maintenance contracts in reflection of company margins.
  13. Foster improvements in vendor performance and costs through holistic supplier sourcing and contracting. By taking a more holistic approach toward global procurement, companies are better able to act dynamically while reducing risk and improving cost-effectiveness.