The way to a more cost-effective IT environment

IT managers are often tasked with striking a balance between costs and fundamental infrastructure. As more and more companies begin to invest in digital transformation, this task has become all the more complicated. Today, IT managers must secure licenses, integrate new hardware and software, create effective processes around the technology and also make sure there's support for new digital initiatives. It's easy for costs to run away with themselves. 

So how do we create a cost-effective IT environment? Here are a few pointers from our experts.

Identify your KPIs
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) is a term used when measuring how well a company is performing. Many start-up companies, as well as companies that have been profitable for extended periods, have little or no perception of their KPIs. This doesn't mean they've enjoyed luck in doing so well in the marketplace, but the chance of succeeding is greater if you know what success looks like and what the company’s goals are

By definition, if you measure something, you have chosen to focus on it. The same thing goes for your IT costs. If you're not fully aware of how an efficient IT environment looks, reaching your destination will often involve many detours and major expenditures. 

Identify the KPIs for your IT environment to make sure your entire organisation works toward one and the same objective.

Make sure you solve the right problems
It's important to understand what it is you're actually trying to solve with your IT investments. When your employees constantly complain about slow support systems, your intuition might tell you to invest in new systems. However, a proper problem analysis might well prove there to be some other underlying problem causing your support systems to be slow, such as neglecting systems upgrades over a long period.

In all probability, you've experienced excellent performance in one of your processes for an extended period, but as your company has grown, the process no longer performs as well. Unpredictable shortcomings in the IT environment can lead to greater-than-necessary expense. Make sure you identify your problems correctly, otherwise it'll be difficult to create effective solutions.

Standardise, simplify and automate processes
Having clear protocols and automated processes for your IT environment will mean you spend less on IT over time. An automated IT environment allows your employees to devote less time to tasks such as entering data into Excel spreadsheets and matching invoices against orders. 

One cause of squandered time that is often overlooked is the human factor, which time and time again causes disruptions and bottlenecks in the IT environment. It's extremely difficult to take smart financial decisions if you cannot rely on your processes working as well as they should. Automated processes mean you're always able to check that your processes are moving from point A to point B, which will lead to more consistent investments in your IT environment.

Use the tools you have at hand
Take a look around you; you may already have the technology or the infrastructure you need, even though it might need a little bit of smart modification. Cost-effective companies are usually creative when it comes to technology solutions. 

One problem that companies often have is far too many software licenses. Many businesses have the Office 365 suite and therefore have access to SharePoint, and perhaps also use Asana, Igloo or similar tools. This means they're paying twice for a single function. Use your licenses in full and get rid of stuff you don't need, even if this means a certain transition period.

Create a more cost-effective IT environment
Following these pointers can be seen as step 1 towards a more cost-effective IT environment. If you succeed in identifying how a cost-effective IT environment looks and what the underlying causes of the problems you're trying to solve actually are, and if you succeed in automating and standardising your processes while not purchasing more licenses than you need, then you'll have come a good bit on the way to a more cost-effective IT environment.

Feel free to contact us to talk more about your IT environment!

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