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How Successful CIOs are Optimizing IT Budgets & Delivering Competitive Innovation

How Successful CIOs are Optimizing IT Budgets & Delivering Competitive Innovation

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As President and CTO of Mercury Technology Group, I have the great pleasure of speaking with many CIOs every month – listening to their challenges and frustrations, understanding their strategies for meeting them, and learning more about what is working and what isn’t.

With the amount of innovation and disruptive new solution offers hitting the market every quarter, the pressure has never been greater on CIOs to take the reins of leadership in guiding their companies through digital transformation. CIOs are working to balance their “budget reality” with the need to deliver differentiated capabilities enabling their companies to compete and win in their chosen markets.

Optimizing IT Budgets – The Pragmatic Strategies of Successful CIOs

1. Embrace Disruptive Solution Providers

While all CIOs want to reduce costs to make IT budget available to invest in new capabilities and innovation, the successful CIOs are the ones willing to look beyond the big ERP vendors to the disruptive solution providers that are driving the real innovation in the market.

As we’ve seen over the past 15 years, the real innovation moving the market forward has come from start-ups and disruptive solution providers that must interoperate with the ERP systems incumbent at large enterprises to survive.  They have flooded the market with breakthrough capabilities that have driven increasingly higher levels of customer engagement, employee productivity, and operational efficiency.

2. Get out of the Data Center Business

Remember that business training you took a few years ago where they stressed the need to focus company resources on activities that were “core” to your business, not “context”.  Well, very few companies have “running a great data center” as a top 3 business objective.  It should be no surprise that 3 out of every 4 CIOs are planning to move some, if not all, of their IT operations to the Cloud over the next 3 years as a way to reduce IT costs.

CIOs are taking a Hybrid IT path forward – CIO’s are seeking ways to “sweat the assets” by stretching their investments in their ERP / HR / CRM / SCM systems as far as possible, investing selectively in high impact / high return capabilities that drive greater employee productivity, profitability, and customer engagement.

Successful CIOs are evaluating providers not only based on cost savings, but also, on how the Hosted Service Provider can help them raise the level of performance, security, and reliability of IT operations.  In addition, CIOs are seeking how the provider can help them simplify the addition of new capabilities and services without changing their underlying ERP system via integration with leading Cloud / SaaS providers.

3. The days of blindly following the IT evolution path of the large ERP vendors is over

One of the largest consumers of IT budget and cause of frustration is support – both software and hardware. Quite simply, the value for dollar just isn’t there if you’re running systems over 3 or 4 years.

With Enterprise Software, 2-3 years after implementing your software, having it customized to meet the unique needs of your business, and having stabilized performance, the need for support drops at roughly the same time that software updates slows and then ceases for the software version you’ve implemented.  That said, the value of updates decreases over time as more CIOs assess the cost and risk of implementing them in a customized environment against the value the updates will deliver. Over the coming years, we will see more decisive action from CIOs than we have seen to date.

Conclusion – IT Cost Saving Strategies can make all the difference!

The dynamic market is only accelerating and the role of the CIO is becoming more strategic every day.

I’d like to hear your perspective – please share your thoughts and insights by responding to this article.  If you’d like to contact me directly, I can be reached at brian.day@mercurytechnology.com.