How CEOs are using IT to cut costs

by - 23 January 2017
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In today’s fast-paced digital world, CEOs have more responsibilities, concerns and considerations than ever before. They have to navigate their business through the rough seas of competition and market pressures, ensure that all hands  on deck are fit and capable, and maintain their organisation’s structural integrity – all while addressing the rising tides of financial pressure.

While modern technology has undoubtedly increased the potential complexity of running a business, in the right hands, it can just as easily be used to streamline, simplify, and cut costs.

In this blog post, we’ll delve into key ways that CEOs are using available technology and IT to lower their running expenses and gain a competitive edge with minimal risk to performance and quality of service.

Make ample use of free tools and applications

There are countless tools and resources available for free online and in the app store – you just need to know what to look. If you’re running a start-up or small- to medium-sized business, there’s a good chance you’ll qualify for free versions of many products that require purchase only after a given threshold or company size.

These tools can help boost efficiency in many areas of the business, from project management software like Trello and Wrike, to free accounting software like GnuCash, to open source network monitoring software like Icinga 2.

If you’re smart about it – and look hard enough – you can save your company a considerable amount of capital while enjoying a wide range of services and efficiencies.

Automate as many processes as possible

When it comes to cutting costs with technology, automation is the name of the game. There’s been a veritable explosion of Software as a Service (Saas) in recent years, leading to a business environment where you can automate at least some part of practically all business functions and processes. For example, tools like Xero and FreshBooks enable businesses to automate their billing and financial processes.

The increased efficiency of automation can help merge existing roles to reduce headcount and overheads. Automation can also help free up your highly skilled professionals from grunt work and routine procedures, allowing them to focus on activities that grow the business and increase value.

Eliminate inefficient practices and processes

Any company that’s been around for at least a couple of years will have its share of residual inefficiencies – think outdated technology, unnecessary processes, and overcrowded offices. Technologically attuned CEOs are using technology to address these inefficiencies, breathing new life into business processes and,at the same time, cutting costs substantially.

For example, paper is an often overlooked expense that slows down communication and allows for unnecessary risk of damage, loss or theft. By moving to a paperless, cloud-based communications system, companies can lower costs, become more efficient and reduce their environmental impact to boot.

IT outsourcing can give you top talent for a fraction of the cost

IT processes are vital for running a successful business, but building a team of highly skilled IT professionals can be far outside the budget of an Australian SME – especially given the country’s IT skills shortage.

This is where IT outsourcing truly shines as a cost-cutting strategy. Instead of employing human resources to complete IT related business tasks, outsource what’s required to cut costs as much as possible. CEOs who take this approach can tap into decades of professional IT expertise without having to shell out exorbitant amounts for the equivalent in-house talent. Furthermore, just like automation, outsourcing will free you up to focus on processes and activities that truly deserve your attention.

PowerNET is a full service IT partner that can help you get the most from your IT to boost your profits and drive growth. If you’d like to see how your IT infrastructure measures up – and where it could use some work – take our commitment-free IT health check.