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CIOs and their budget woes going into Q3 Q4 2020

Published: Tuesday, June 16, 2020 written by Andy Flagg
View Count: 19
Keywords: CIOs, Budget Review, Q3 Q4 2020



Back at the end of 2019, we knew going into 2020 we would be reducing debt to zero, streamlining services, and removing bad accounts and removing bad collectables. Plus, we were expanding our business services while maintaining specific retail existing clients.
 
NOTE: at the bottom of this post is the article in reference.
 
As a past CIO, CTO and VP of Support and Operations for major and minor corporations, this is not just once per year thing. Its ongoing.
 
This article describes 8 things for us to consider.
1. Projects, 2. Vendor Contracts, 3. App rationalization, 4. Hardware, 5. Headcount, 6. Telephony, 7. Portfolio assessment, 8. Cloud.
 
** Here is my take on that list. Every item is a monthly and quarterly review item and ongoing progress, savings, investments, and risk avoidance.
 
A. My immediate question, "What's the biggest cost and asset?" Answer: 5. Headcount.  Unless you are heavily capitalized with a lean staff compliment.
 
B. What is next? 2. Vendor contracts. Those should be always on the radar for when they are due up, their KPI and performance status, and more.
 
C. This can be 6. Telephony which can be a little tricky, yet simple. Switch from POTS to VOIP. Stay in a lean contract. Cloud base your VOIP management instead of onsite hardware.
 
What else?
 
D. It is 4. Hardware. That should always be in a 3 to 4 year replacement rotation, not necessarily on lease, but definitely a CAPEX item that needs serious consideration.
 
E.  And continuing on to 3. App rationalization - this is where you buy and license or lease 50 licenses for Microsoft Office and Outlook Exchange clients, or Autodesk engineering software, Adobe Creative Suite or just an Acrobat product, and you are only using 45 of the licenses. You should and can always incrementally go up and down with your PER SEAT licensing costs. Sometimes, its just a bulk license of 5, 15, 25, or 50, 100, or more, and you cannot really do trimming rationally, let alone the vendor will allow it. 
 
F. This is interesting one, 7. Portfolio management - the overall systematic review and analysis of your complete business operations picture as far as IT and other resources. For me, this is a long range strategy review done annually with a 5, 10, 15, 20 year projection and landscape. The draconian IT staffing cuts to go to the cloud and reduce major overhead is always an option. Yes, I have done draconian cuts before with IT and customer service and other essential and non-essential departments when the client base and needs are drastically reduced. You just don't need the immediate staffing to cover the reduction in cash flow, customer base, and a changing business. 
 
For example, me, I leaned out my staff and moved out of retail and business services only. My staffing and management knew it was coming and either chose to retrain on my time and dime or not, and then move onto another work environment. It's hard to lose great people, yet if they don't want to work in the new business schema then you have to move on without them. For me, I still love the retail in a way, the customer interaction, chaos, drama and more. Yet moving to business only, the phones are a lot quieter, and the foot traffic is a lot less.

G. Lastly, Cloud? Yep, we hybrid our business - something we came up with in 1998. We had bulk items in the cloud on high speed circuits at 100/1000 Mb/s respectively with unlimited data, and then on prem high speed DSL, etc. Hybrid your data and apps appropriately, and split development from operations. Development onsite, operations cloud based. Reduce the cost and migrate to other vendors with ease and protection.
 
REF: CIOs: 8 ways to trim IT budgets
 
more to come...

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