As the complexity of markets evolves, IT can no longer exist in a silo separate to business and management functions — your IT must be aligned with and contribute to your cost-saving priorities.
Deploying the latest and greatest technology, or focusing on maintaining your system to extend the life of legacy systems, isn’t enough; IT teams must ensure their work makes the direct connection to overarching business revenue goals and cost-saving.
Competing objectives can trigger a lack of alignment. A recent report from The Economist noted that an IT focus on integrating legacy systems and system resilience is frustrating for other teams in the organisation looking to use DX strategies to drive revenue growth and control costs.
It is not an insurmountable difference, but both IT and the business as a whole must be willing to rethink traditional roles. The simplest shared goal? Cost efficiencies. To survive today’s turbulent business conditions, IT must be part of the conversation on identifying and acting on efficiencies and scalability opportunities.
Critical strategies for aligning your IT with the business bottom line can span:
- outsourcing opportunities for managed services providers
- redeploying skilled teams to higher-value tasks
- harnessing smart automation strategies
- moving workloads to a SaaS and/or cloud offering.
Outsourcing Opportunities: Controlling Costs With a Managed Services Provider
Managed service providers (MSPs) provide active administration of your IT services across networks, infrastructure and security – support can be provided on-premises, via hosting in their data centre, or a third-party data centre provider.
MSPs often deliver their own proprietary services alongside other vendor offerings. There are both ‘pure play’ MSPs, which focus on a single service or technology, as well as more agnostic MSPs that work with a range of vendors and offerings.
According to Gartner: “The term MSP traditionally was applied to infrastructure or device-centric types of services but has expanded to include any continuous, regular management, maintenance and support.”
Leveraging a MSP can support business cost-saving by:
- improving up-time and system performance, boosting internal productivity, speed to market, and customer satisfaction – growing margins and profitability
- minimising recruitment, onboarding and training costs by shifting the responsibility to the MSP – empowering your business to scale with on-demand skill sets offered by the MSP rather than having to match a new IT need with the cost of a new FTE
- access to MSP insights into strategic opportunities aligned with your business goals gained across a broad cross-section of industries – an external perspective can use learnings across their client base to support efficiencies in your business.
A recent poll of 400 IT and business professionals by the Computing Technology Industry Association (CTIA) found a resounding 96 percent of respondents saved money by adopting managed services. Of the organisations relying on MSPs for some or all of their IT needs, 46 percent have reduced annual IT budgets by at least 25 percent as a result, with 13 percent projecting savings of 50 percent or more.
The results of MSP outsourcing are worth replicating – and part of the approach must be understanding and mitigating outsourcing risks.
Redeployment Over Redundancy For Skilled Team Members
Corporate and IT leaders may fear that outsourcing work to prioritise cost-savings will result in worker redundancies – nobody wants to spearhead an initiative that terminates valued staff members and loses their invaluable expertise and IP.
A smarter way to approach IT cost-savings is to focus on redeployment over redundancy. Companies can transition monotonous or lower-value tasks to a specialist external partner and redeploy internal skill sets to higher priority activities that generate revenue or support growth.
To understand the value of redeployment, consider what percentage of working hours your team members spend on administrative or operational tasks that could easily be outsourced to a third-party provider. Imagine what your people could do with that time; free of low-level responsibilities and free to dedicate their expertise to mission-critical work.
Research shows outsourcing for redeployment can drive savings of 30-50 percent for Australian companies, without compromising skill sets and performance.
Your company enjoys the cost-savings associated with completing necessary tasks at a lower rate and inspires an improved employee experience to get and keep the talent you need to accelerate innovation.
Automating Your Way to Cost Efficiency
Emerging technologies driving workplace automation can drive benefits across cost-savings, faster development velocity, and reduced security risks through minimising manual errors.
IT automation tasks that can drive cost-savings include patch management, application deployment, service fulfilment, and release and change execution. Your staff are freed up from the nuts and bolts of your system to work on revenue-generating activities.
Deploying automation that drives cost efficiencies demands a sophisticated understanding of the technologies available and their implementation. A trusted partner offering a robotic process automation (RPA) as-a-service model can be a more cost-efficient automation option for IT workflows than hiring an internal specialist.
Moving Your Workloads to a SaaS or Cloud Offering
A savvy business solution for reducing your IT costs is shifting workloads to a SAAS platform or cloud offering. This shift enables access to scalable IT services without demands for substantial capital expenditure; pay for the data and storage you use rather than investing in expensive on-site hardware, energy costs, and the maintenance and support hardware required.
Moving your existing IT workloads to a cloud platform such as Azure or CloudMetro (Harbour IT’s secure private cloud) can deliver benefits across:
- Scalability: Cloud services often operate on a subscription or consumption basis, allowing organisations to scale their investment up or down as needed. Your business has the flexibility to respond quickly to change, rather than being locked into pricey upfront expenses or lengthy licencing terms.
- Flexibility: SaaS and cloud services allow teams to securely access key systems from anywhere. This flexibility gives companies access to global talent pools and supports the remote working arrangements that are becoming business as usual.
- Innovation: Speed to market provides the ‘first mover’ advantage, but legacy IT systems can be cumbersome and slow to innovate. Transitioning to cloud services increases agility to ensure IT teams are responsive to changing business priorities.
The advantages are clear, but transitioning to the cloud isn’t as simple as flipping a switch. An article for McKinsey cautioned that the “lift-and-shift” approach to moving legacy systems directly to the cloud won’t necessarily yield the benefits cloud infrastructure and systems can provide; “In fact, in some cases, that approach can result in IT architectures that are more complex, cumbersome, and costly than before.”
Your Trusted Partner Focussed on Cost-Saving IT
By working with a partner with a proven track record like Harbour IT, your business can unlock the benefits of outsourcing the right parts of your IT stack and workflows.
By tapping into the benefits of MSPs, SAAS and cloud computing, you can control costs, free up internal assets, and automate workflows to support your business priorities.
Align your IT and business priorities with smart outsourcing choices.