August 18, 2016

CIO Meeting Recap: Lowering IT Overhead & Operational Costs

Finding ways to lower costs is not always an easy task! Jackie Hartman, VP at Jack Link’s shared the different techniques she has used within her organization to lower costs at last week’s Think IT CIO meeting. The group had many similar stories and additional suggestions regarding this topic as well.

Can we change the perception of IT?

Why is it that individuals tend to think that the IT department is the biggest expense within an organization? Jackie explained that in her experience, it tends to come up because there isn’t a clear understanding of what is being accomplished and where the funds are going. If others aren’t able to see the end goal and the steps necessary to get there, they will have difficulty agreeing with the process when all they see is dollar signs. One suggestion made to help bridge the knowledge gap is to put the financials together in an organized way so you are able to physically share exactly where the money is being spent and how it benefits the company as a whole. Hard copies (graphs, tables, diagrams, etc.) make it easier for others to visualize an idea rather than having to imagine what it is you are talking about – it takes the guessing out of!

Another technique the group found useful is to make time to sit down with your business partners to discuss ideas and processes. The context of these conversations need  to  be about how IT is implementing investment projects on behalf of the business instead of it being about how IT spends the most money. They need to understand that what you’re doing is necessary for the business to succeed and grow; as soon as they believe that you will have their support.

How can you simplify your processes?

One of the biggest lessons Jackie mentioned she learned through this process was that you are able to negotiate everything. It doesn’t matter how little of a change it may be at the time because it could make a huge difference in the end – that includes your personal life as well!

It was also discussed that being aware of what you can handle and making sure to say “yes” to the right things, and not everything, is very important. Just because you are asked to do something doesn’t mean you are obligated to take it on. It’s better to be honest and be able to turn someone and /or something away if you know you will be unable to put all of your time and effort into completing it. The longer you take to complete a project, the more money that is spent!

What can you do within your own organization to eliminate some of the expenses?

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Posted by: Renee MacLean

Tags:  CIO Group, Meeting Recap, CIO

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