Wednesday, June 23, 2021

How to Optimize Your Technology Budget in 2021

 After 2020, it is understandable that many businesses would be seeking out a way to recoup a lot of the expenses and losses that the year’s events likely incurred upon them. This has led many to turn to their IT investments as the sacrificial lamb. While we are undeniably biased, we would argue that there are better ways to streamline your business’ expenses in terms of its IT than to simply cut them outright.

Based on findings shared in Flexera’s 2021 State of Tech Spend report, let’s go over a few other means to streamline expenses that many businesses are following now.

Adapt to the Changing Times

It should come as no surprise that the past year encouraged a lot of businesses to put new technologies and utilities in place to help support their workflows. These technologies were largely the kind that could encourage a workforce’s mobility away from the traditional workplace by enabling remote operations and work-from-home strategies to be adopted.

This led to significant investments into solutions like cloud computing, which is where 30 percent of IT spend is now directed with a corresponding 36 percent decrease of investments into on-premises solutions. However, what happens when “business as usual” once again becomes the norm?

Frankly, it isn’t likely that it ever will.

The statistics make it clear that technologies like Software-as-a-Service and public cloud are the direction that businesses are now moving, accelerated in their trajectory by recent events. According to Flexera’s survey, 57 percent of their respondents saw some increase in their utilization of SaaS solutions and 49 percent increased their use of public cloud. Meanwhile, IT spend decreased significantly in on-premises software, server investments, and data center usage.

Options like SaaS and public cloud promote a few choice benefits for businesses, as they enable some significant mobility amongst a workforce—allowing these businesses to accomplish productive operations with their team members working remotely, as necessary—as well as some serious customizability in terms of scale. Both can significantly benefit the business looking to make the most of its costs.

Identify Less-Than-Optimal Investments

Having said this, the cloud is the cause of a lot of wasted IT budgets. A 2019 report by Flexera also reported that about 35 percent of cloud spend is wasted through mismanagement, with the rapid changes that characterize cloud services and missed opportunities to claim discounts contributing to these challenges.

Unfortunately, these trends have not changed much in the time since this data was compiled. Flexera’s updated data shows that today’s waste comes in at around 30 percent. To try and minimize this waste, it is necessary to reexamine any investments you’ve made thus far—not just to identify ways that you can get more mileage out of those you’ve maintained, but to also ensure that you’re not maintaining licenses and such things that have since gone unused.

Reconsider How You Host Your IT

At the end of the day, it really boils down to the value that you’re getting from your technology. When all your expenses are accounted for and examined critically as you consider the value and utility that expense has resulted in, you may find that your entire strategy is holding your business back.

We mentioned already that IT investments are shifting, the preeminent strategy no longer being to host critical infrastructures on-site. There’s a good reason for this: cloud-hosted technology simply delivers more value to a greater number of businesses.

In many ways, onsite IT just can’t compete with decentralized IT in terms of value… particularly when viewed through the lens we’ve all shared over the last year. Of course, this is assuming that enough attention is paid to your cloud investments as time passes. Balancing these costs will likely—almost certainly—result in positive outcomes for your business’ finances moving forward.

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