IT Leaders Must Save for the Future, Even if Their Budgets Don’t Increase
Although IT’s responsibilities and demands grow with each passing day, IT budgets aren’t necessarily growing with them. That’s why it’s more important than ever to save for future investments.
Both consumers and businesses today are increasingly dependent on technology, and companies must innovate in order to both stay competitive and support their operations. Unfortunately, this heightened need for innovation is not matched by an increase in dedicated funds.
In fact, 2017 IT budgets are widely expected to remain exactly where they were in 2016. Under pressure to do more with less, CIOs must find creative new ways to manage their budgets and save for future investments — what this essentially amounts to is a strategy for digital transformation.
The need for a bold, long-term strategies to bolster digital infrastructure is felt at many companies, yet few of them have actually implemented such a strategy. According to a study conducted by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services, only half of all businesses have developed a digital transformation strategy, despite the 64% of respondents who say that the digital world will impact their field in the next two years.
To save money for the future without losing productivity today, IT leaders must have a thorough understand of their current expenditures and their value to day-to-day operations. CIOs need to make cuts where necessary and transfer funds from existing projects to digital transformation.
“Many CIOs struggle with the continuing increase in demand for more projects, but taking a step back and adding careful analysis of which projects they should start will help manage this increase in demand,” APAC Regional Director David Davies said at a recent gathering of CIOs in Sydney, Australia. “Adding a front-end process that enables an organization to ensure it is working on the right projects positions it to make better use of resources.”
The Harvard Business study also found that some 52% of companies credited CIOs and CTOs for creating the organization's digital vision, while 39% attributed it to the CEO. However, among the companies that had a digital strategy, it was still difficult to implement the vision cohesively across departments. Resistance of substantial and sometimes jarring change is to be expected, especially when that change involves temporary cuts to specific projects and departments. To encounter and overcome that resistance, IT leaders must engineer a change in culture that accompanies the change in direction.
“The best planned transformation must include a significant amount of change management to ensure the adoption of any change is understood and embraced,” said Davies. “It should be considered from the start of the transformation and not as an afterthought. We have seen successful deployments where organizations set clear communication strategies that utilize multiple channels that target all stakeholders.”
With a well-drawn plan and a clearly communicated vision, IT leaders can use capacity management software to find ways to save money within their department. For instance, TeamQuest's Vityl makes it possible to understand what goes into IT costs, to identify IT value, and to allocate resources to IT services in the most cost-efficient way possible.
Vityl monitors thousands of data points from every part of these complex infrastructures and boils down the health of each system to a single easy-to-understand indicator. These insights allow IT professionals to accurately project budget needs and eliminate the risk of under-allocating or over-allocating funds.
With these tools at their disposal, IT managers will be able to provide an agile, cost-effective IT service which complements existing business goals. At the end of the day, knowing what the future holds can help ensure that plans to save are on track.