Whether you are small or large business keeping track of your costs remains an ongoing challenge for organisations today.
Here are 11 essential tips that can help manage and keep IT costs under control.
Read next: How to manage IT costs.
After graduating from London South Bank University having studied Multimedia Journalism, Chloe joined CIO UK as an online editor. She has a particular interest in digital strategy, UK startups and developing IT skills.
Digital teams cannot be expected to know everything about IT. Partnering with vendors and third party suppliers can bring support and expertise into the organisation.
CIOs should take the time to review contracts to make sure if the support is still needed. If needed, then communicating with vendors about special offers or discounts can lead to a reduction in costs.
2017 CIO organisations including Interserve, Royal Society of Chemistry and Harvey Nichols are communicating with fellow departments to ensure a greater understanding of their organisations.
CIOs can often lack financial skills but through collaborating with financial departments they can gain further knowledge about keeping IT costs under control.
Building a relationship with finance can help CIOs in understanding the organisation better, their requirements and how to develop the business strategy further.
Budgeting remains a concern for every CIO.
Preparing a budget can help keep track of business income, transactions and cash flows.
Budgeting tools such as Mint, Level Money and GoodBudget can analyse spending, track transactions and overview finances. This cannot only save time and increase financial skills but also manage overall IT costs.
A financial plan can not only help manage your finances but also help make better decisions.
CIOs should create a budget which will outline costs, materials and asset values to determine the organisation’s current financial state.
This will help set short and long term goals for the business as well making future investments in products and services.
CIOs are often managing multiple teams, projects and deadlines.
Financial tools such as Adaptive Insights, QuickBooks and Intacct can prepare budgets, create expense claims and track cash flows.
These tools, can help reduce overspending by breaking down costs and giving a clear picture of the overall business spending
It may be worth seeking professional help from a financial advisor who can provide advice and support on financial short or long term goals.
Their services range from financial planning and investment advice to specialised advice of a particular project or product.
It is worth researching advisors beforehand to ensure their services will suit the business needs.
Finance is featured in every aspect of the organisation.
CIOs should take time out of their schedule to communicate with employees on how they can reduce costs and develop the business strategy.
By regularly coming up with ideas through the use of brainstorming sessions, hackathons and holding brown bag lunches, CIOs can pitch ideas to executives for review.
What’s more, it can help retain talent by giving everyone a voice and offering feedback.
When it comes to resources CIOs should look to see if there are possible upgrades to be made before purchasing new equipment.
Greenpeace UK Head of IT Andrew Hatton says: "I am trying to make sure we buy devices that will last and can be upgraded. This is increasingly becoming a challenge and something we have started to campaign on externally - about the life cycle and the environmental cost of digital tools.”
Often businesses will focus on areas such as income, transactions and cash flows. However, reducing utility bills, upgrading equipment and moving to a paperless system can make a small difference in a business.
Brussel Airlines, Trainline and Greenpeace UK are just some of the organisations who have made small changes with a lasting difference in their business strategies.
Security, marketing and leadership are just some of the skills today’s CIO possesses. However, finance has become a key trait for a CIO to develop to help keep a business running.
A great way to develop these skills is through the use of training programmes, workshops and mentoring to help gain a better understanding of finance.
Furthermore, it will help IT leaders to grasp financial jargon, add to their skill set and spread IT costs further.
(See also: 7 skills CIOs need to have on their CVs.)
A detailed financial breakdown should be regularly updated and help keep track of income, expenditure and receipts.
By identifying elements such as employee salaries, vendor contracts and material quantities it can help breakdown business costs. This can ensure you are in control of your spending, stay on track with goals and also help make better financial decisions in the business.
(Read next: How to reduce IT costs.)