Seven Strategies to Reduce IT Costs and Improve ROI – Part 1

For more than 20 years, Vector has worked closely with medium-sized business, healthcare facilities, businesses and government entities, and schools and universities to develop networking and telecommunications systems that support their missions.

As part of our efforts to assist decision makers at these organizations in keeping their people connected to critical information, we are starting a blog.  We will share our thoughts on new technologies, the latest trends, success stories and general commentary and we are eager to hear the thoughts of our current clients and customers, partners, and others involved in IT decisions.

To get the discussion kicked off, I wanted to share strategies we’ve both developed and observed that can assist organizations in maintaining or even improving network performance while reducing cost, thereby improving the ROI of the IT investment.  Given that most IT teams we talk to aren’t anticipating budget increases in 2012, this remains a very relevant topic!

I will discuss three ideas today and more in a future post.  Please add to the conversation with your ideas or feedback to these!

1. Know what you’re spending – Start by getting a handle on what you’re spending now.  Look everywhere, starting with invoices from IT-related vendors to employee expense reports.  You might be surprised what you find.  Look especially at contracts that are in place and think about potentially purchasing contract management software to help you manage these.  One scenario we’ve seen:  an executive or administrator signs a contract and then subsequently leaves the company.  Accounting continues to pay the bill, but no one can find the contract, figure out the thinking behind the signing of it, or determine what benefit the service is providing.

2. Integrate printers – Printers, scanners and all-in-one devices often proliferate in an office faster than any other hardware.  Review who needs to print, scan and fax – how much and when.  Never forget that the $120 all-in-one device with inkjet technology seems cheap, until you factor in that the cost per page to print is exponentially higher than with a more expensive laser printer.   Also remember that many of these devices now connect wirelessly.  This can expose both the content and the network to hacking.

3. Take a new look at internet access – Do you really need that T-1 line?  Would two bonded DSL lines or a fractional T-1 line provide similar service and redundancy for a lot less money?  Does it make sense to bundle internet access with telephony and other services?  Often signing longer-term contracts provides better deals as well.

In my next post, I will cover four additional strategies and also get into when IT teams might consider bringing in outside expertise to gain new ideas and an independent perspective.

I look forward to feedback and comments.


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