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Strategic Cost Savings

Cost savings in technology today.


The First Steps

Many organizations have adopted a very simple approach to cutting technology expenses by cancelling projects, reducing the staff and stopping system upgrades.  This is typically a prudent tactic to rapidly reduce overall short term costs.  It is also fairly simple to identify and eliminate non-critical items from a budget for a series of short term cost reductions. 


The Second Round of Cuts

As this economic downturn continues, decisions and strategies involving technology spending have larger and longer term impacts on your business.   Technology vendors and customers have both enacted further reductions in areas like reducing the depth of skilled employees, employee benefits, education, maintenance and eliminating positions.


The Creative Steps 

This next area requires careful consideration and creativity.  A mistake here could cripple critical business processes, impede its ability to rebound or endanger the security and integrity of systems. 


The following are typical of our creative steps that resulted in keeping quality high but significantly reducing and deferring expenses…



Case 1:  Study the problem, Standards, Centralization Establishing standards then adjusting the purchasing process


The problem:

An organization was purchasing Microsoft software in an ad-hoc manner which resulted in multiple issues.  Purchases were being made at retail costs rather than volume discounts.  The enterprise’s purchases were not being tracked by Microsoft so a compliance audit was generated.  No credits were being accumulated for training of the staff.  Internal licensing documents were being saved in various ways which resulted in incompatibilities and an ever-accelerating user demand for version upgrades.


The process:

A brief study was performed to determine the owned and distributed versions of Microsoft’s products.  Business upgrade needs, end of life support dates and upgrade volumes and costs were also evaluated to determine a versioning strategy that would meet the organization’s needs.   


The solution:

The centralization of technology purchasing was the best value solution but only if it was done in concert with a comprehensive need-driven software version upgrade strategy.


An overall policy for software upgrades was created that projected both the timing and volumes required to meet the organization’s needs.  Volume agreements with improved pricing, support and training were negotiated for the organizationThis solution deferred approximately $425,000 of license upgrade expenses, made the company compliant with software licensing, and provided the organization with volume discounts on all future purchases.  



Case 2: Backup system cost avoidance and reductions


The problem:

A corporation was not backing up its information in a consistent fashion.  Remote offices were at risk of losing critical business information.  The capacity of the backup facilities at the main datacenter was being exceeded.  Off site storage and retrieval costs were rapidly growing at all three remote sites.


The process:

Business requirements were gathered and proposals to manage the global backup requirements through technology purchases and/or outsourcing were obtained.  The cost range was between $175,000 and $450,000 for a five year period.  The business management team was engaged to determine if a change in its stored critical business information was feasible. 


The solution:

A rework of policies and business processes delayed the need for any technology expenses in this area.  The organization agreed that in order to avoid investing between $175,000 and $450,000 in upgrading its backup systems, they would have to change their backup strategy to centralize their business critical and financial data into their main datacenter (which was already consistently backing up critical data).  Remote office backups were no longer data-critical so they could be dramatically reduced and made manageable.  Policy changes were also introduced to adjust the frequency of non-production data backups at the main datacenter.  This significantly reduced tape system loads and eliminated the need to invest an additional $75,000 in backup capacity.  Off site storage of backup tapes was also changed to storing these tapes in existing local business facilities in a secure and controlled fashion which eliminated approximately $21,000 annually.



Case 3: Project management - what's the best method?

The Issue:
Large and complex projects often distract the entire management team away from the critical day-to-day issues that arise during the course of the project. They are stretched to the burn out point and beyond.

The split focus can result in a degradation of critical services and response times, a backlog of routine but required work, a patchwork of temporary fast fixes that must be revisited and re-accomplished once the project is finished. But the normal complex project completion usually becomes the real "starting point" of the support and stabilization part of the project and it takes on a life of its own. 

The BTCG offers two solutions:
External management of complex and critical project:

  • BTCG has a deep level of project management experience that you can rely on to drive an effective result. Standard methods and leading practices are followed to ensure an efficient use of resources that remains on target and on the correct course.

Or the temporary backfilling your critical permanent positions:

  • BTCG can offer you the option of temporarily taking over the day to day running of your more mundane and routine technology duties. This service is designed "hold down the fort" while your "A Team" focuses on the new technology, ensuring that it is accomplished correctly and gives your team the hands on experience of this critical new initiative. Your team would still manage the daily direction and approvals of normal business-driven technology events but is provided a high level management team that they can delegate their duties to.


Previous Cases:

Applications Management:

  • Creating frameworks for applications  business processes to a process to gather, assess, and accepting/denying change requests from users within the organization
  • IT Change Execution management - maximizes the IT change’s success and minimizes disruption to the business.  (Build, Test, Release, Monitor)
  • Application Maintenance Management - Whether it’s planned, routine, or emergency-related, the constant change involved in application maintenance must be managed in order to minimize possible downtime and maximize maintenance efforts without overrunning the maintenance budget.

IT Compliance and Incident Response:

  • Incident Response:  Compliance efforts vary across industries and apply differently to enterprises, depending on organizational size, structure, and complexity of the IT environment. These compliance needs may be driven by government legislation, corporate initiatives, or related businesses that require their partners adhere to industry standards.  Regardless of the drivers behind compliance, one particular need remains common to all IT departments faced with a compliance challenge: to demonstrate compliance to auditors, executive management, and stakeholders.  We can help you identify the impact, prioritize and plan, and help you report on compliance efforts.
  • Proactive Response:  In enterprises where compliance is a known cost of doing business and auditing is a predictable task, a pre-emptive approach to compliance can reduce the cost of compliance projects down the line, and leave the enterprise well-prepared for future auditor visits.  We can help you 1) Build and Manage the Compliance Framework and 2) Assure Ongoing Integrity of Internal Controls

Infrastructure Assessments:

How well will your current computing and networking technologies help you achieve the company's top priorities? What additions, improvements and changes are necessary in the near-term, medium-term, and long-term?

Your Infrastructure Direction needs to consider the health of existing infrastructure components and their suitability in the future of the enterprise. We can 1) Assess Current Technical Infrastructure and 2) Develop Technology Strategic Direction.

Infrastructure Direction should be revisited periodically, at least annually, or when there is a significant course correction in corporate direction

IT Continuity Planning:

  • Business Impact and Risk Assessment
  • Continuity Plan Testing and Maintenance
  • DR & IT Continuity Plan Creation

IT Resource Management:

Talent management:

  • HR Management
  • Leadership
  • Professional Performance Management (20/70/10)

Vendor Management:

  • Managing Vendor Performance
  • Contract Negotiations
  • Selecting and Evaluating Vendors

IT Strategy:

  • Application Direction
  • Business & IT Alignment
  • IT Organization Direction
  • Strategic Investment and Value Roadmap
  • Technical Infrastructure Direction

Technology Policy and Procedure Management:

  • Definition
  • Enforcement
  • Management


  • Portfolio Monitoring
  • Prioritization adjusting list to reflect IT capacity
  • Re-Adjustments