As organizations struggle with reduced budgets, fewer resources, and other results of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s also imperative that they identify new strategies and approaches to drive the business forward. As John Edwards put it in a recent CIO article, “For organizations pressed for budget to perform necessary replacements and upgrades, Big Bang transformation initiatives are out of reach. But advances can still be made, as there are many dynamic IT initiatives that can be launched at a relatively modest cost yet still deliver rapid, meaningful benefits.”
Some of these initiatives include:
- Dive into data analytics. Depending upon where an organization is on its big data analytics journey, there are different ways in which the technology can be harnessed to deliver business impact. For companies that have an established business intelligence (BI) system, a good step is evaluating the investment to determine how various business teams are using the technology—and how this usage could be increased to drive better outcomes. As one of the experts with whom Edwards spoke put it, “Many companies have invested considerably in data warehouse and BI capabilities…but appear to only be using a fraction of the capabilities.”
- Reassess IT processes. Streamlining IT operations can deliver a significant benefit to the bottom line. It’s fairly common for IT processes to arise from a variety of reasons not necessarily related to efficiency. Periodically taking the time to examine these processes is essential, and will almost always result in shortcuts and streamlined options with a big potential payback.
- Launch a business satisfaction initiative. According to Edwards, “Implementing a process to regularly measure and assess enterprise satisfaction with IT services is a low-cost, high-reward initiative that many IT leaders overlook.” These surveys can also help shed light on what technology, services, or support users most need and, in turn, direct corporate spending to the most critical areas.
- Commit to the cloud. Embracing the cloud can be a great strategy for realizing cost savings, and it also provides the flexibility to scale on demand as business needs change.
- Streamline tedious tasks with RPA. As Edwards puts it, “Robotic process automation (RPA software never sleeps and makes no mistakes.” In addition to the benefits of error reduction and expedited processes, RPA also offers numerous financial gains. For example, eliminating the manpower associated with training new hires on administrative tasks or freeing employees to focus on more complex activities with a direct link to customers or other revenue-generating areas.
You can read more on these and other low-cost, high-impact IT strategies in Edwards’ piece here.