It Pays to Consider Creative Cost-Cutting Ideas

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While saving money is always a goal of smart CIOs, it becomes a primary goal when the economy heads south.

With that in mind, I've recently posted a couple of blogs offering tips on spending wisely in tight times. In one post, I shared a three-pronged cost-reduction strategy from the Hackett Group. And this post was packed with practical, real-world money-saving tips from several CIOs.

Some more great tips are contained in a post from TechRepublic blogger Ramon Padilla. I especially like this post because many of its ideas relate to reducing -- or at least controlling -- labor costs. Many companies look to traditional outsourcing arrangements to yield those savings, but Padilla offers a number of more creative solutions.

For instance, he describes how his company participates in a data center cooperative, whose members all contribute funds toward its ongoing operations. Members also sit on a board, which ensures that the center is run efficiently and at a minimal cost.

The price, Padilla writes, is one "that no commercial vendor can touch" and no single organization could duplicate on its own. Even better, the member costs fall as the data center grows. As in other shared-services arrangements, contracts and SLAs should cover all concerns about security and other issues.

Among Padilla's other smart suggestions:

  • SMBs can form a buying consortium to get better prices from vendors.
  • Easing up on redundancy requirements in some areas will save money and, if done right, shouldn't harm overall service.
  • Ask yourself if staffers need to be on-site 24/7. Many issues can be handled just as well by automation and/or remote personnel.