Keys to IT Cost Control: Partnerships, Automation, Planning

We present some guidelines on how to keep costs associated with PC lifecycle management in control, and justified.

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PC technology trends toward cheaper and stronger, the proverbial more bang for your buck, but money is still the biggest concern. In a recent study by Dell and Vanson Bourne, tech leaders cited lack of budget and resources as the number one barrier to digital progress. This is above in-house talent, c-suite buy-in and even having the latest technology.

The tension goes beyond just managing hardware and software cost. According to CIO’s State of the CIO 2018 study, the three top CIO priorities are upgrade IT and data security to avoid cyber attack (36%), help reach specific goal for corporate revenue growth (35%) and leading digital business initiatives (35%). Each of these benefit from having the latest, greatest tech. Reduce IT spending was a top priority of only 20% of the CIOs interviewed, showing that growth and security are currently overtaking frugality.

Fiscally-focused tech progress can be sped up by leveraging partnerships, particularly with vendors. Committing to a service provider gives you an expert on the inside of the other business, can stack up your savings with packages and bundles and may help you map out the next phase of your technology based on the partner’s own growing options. You also aren’t spending time and resources doing RFPs and sales calls, essentially reinventing the wheel with every new need that arrives.

Managed service provider partnerships can also mitigate cost or, at minimum, resources. It’s an opportunity to outsource the tech infrastructure and user experience so your business can focus on vision, culture and other broader priorities. The challenge is making sure the MSP values match your own company’s, as its connection to your business will be more intimate than a vendor provider and, if you do undo the partnership, often requires time and effort to untangle.

The best PC partnerships give you a systematic process. By automating your tech future, you can better control the cost of upgrades, create stronger forecasting for purchasing and bake investment cost right into the next budget. Automation also keeps you from being blindsided by the newest technology, as a smart partner will be an additional eyes and ears in the field. Keeping an open, continual dialog can prevent the potential sticker shock of scrambling when you do need a sudden upgrade.

According to State of the CIO, 57% of enterprise organization IT leaders expect IT budgets to grow over the next year compared to just 45% of smaller organization CIOs. And yet, the aforementioned Dell Digital Future Research survey found about four out of five companies view startups as a threat to their organization either now or in the future. One in four believe they are already a threat. Bigger organizations are spending more on tech, as they recognize that the smaller guys can quickly take over their category. It is smarter to expand into new economical models to prepare for the future rather than stave it off to save money today.

Copyright © 2018 IDG Communications, Inc.