Our IT Inferiority Complex

October 9, 2008

Again I will use my poetic licence to wander into a post geared more towards Technology Managers in the small business, medium business space.

Sure, there are companies that purely generate revenue from IT spending. Their senior executives are all probably CompSci grads from MIT.

For the rest of us, IT spending is either a keep the lights on cost, or preferably an enabler that can assist in generating revenue and reducing costs.

Yet too often IT Management sits in a corner and laments that nobody appreciates that they need to spend big bucks on the Whiz Bang 6000.

I encourage you to read these posts, the first by Merrill Dubrow at MARC Research

Yes the economy is challenging.  No it isn’t going to get better anytime soon. Yes you have heard that over and over.  So what’s my point? During times like this you need answers to questions and frankly pretty fast.
* How is your cash flow?

* How does your accounts receivable look?

* How are we doing vs. budget?

* What accounts are behind projections?

And the second by VC Fred Wilson;

My question to the rest of our portfolio was simple. What can the rest of you learn from this approach? How can you get more capital efficient?

If you are an IT Manager in the SME space, are you in these conversations?

You should be.

Throw your hat in the ring.

You should be talking daily with your financial staff. Looking at where costs are happening, and looking at how they can be reduced.

I have not spent a dollar on a CAPEX cost in close to a year, and have been aggressively trying to consolidate and reduce some OPEX costs.

The OPEX costs would not even be a rounding error for a large organization, but for us it is still equivalent to about one FTE (Full Time Equivalent) salary. (That is a Senior Tech worker FTE by the way – not a minimum wage one)

And these savings were not handed to me – it is because I met (harassed?) our financial staff regularly on our cost and expense structure. Reducing G&A expenses is everyone’s responsibility.

If you are a tech manager who has been reducing costs, let me know how you have been doing it!

Photo Credit Glenn Harper

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