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Look At The Demand Side Of IT Cost Cutting

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Bruce Winzar | CIO | Loddon Mallee Health Alliance & Bendigo Health Group

Most organizations will look at cost-cutting through the eyes of ICT from the services viewpoint. You look at a supplier, and you say to that supplier, “We have to reduce the price. We have to look at the way we do our licensing. We have to look at the change in the SLAs, so maybe we change an SLA from 24-by-7 to 12-by-7.” Very rarely do we look at the demand side of the ICT model. The demand side is really the user side. The user side says, “In a world where the budgets are shrinking, how do we minimize and how do we look at what the user is doing in terms of using ICT?” A typical example, an easy example, to win is printing. We recognize that printing within our organization is a large cost. We print 7.9 million of pieces of paper every year. We have over 250 different printers within our organization. We have 3,500 people, and we’re printing hundreds of sheets of paper per person per month. Our strategy moving forward today is that we have moved to one standardized platform. One standardized platform from a vendor has reduced our calls to the help desk. It’s reduced our support costs to managed print drivers. It’s enabled us to have proactive management on the maintenance of our machines, and it’s allowed us to reduce the number of pages that we printed per year. I’d say to fellow CIOs that when you’re looking at cost-cutting measures, don’t always look from the supply side. Always have the view that demand, and the demand driven by the user, should also be looked at. When we’re looking at printing, simple strategies like standardizing printers, minimizing photocopiers, minimizing color when we only use a small amount of color for printing, and minimizing the cost of consumables is a strong strategy to assist you in cost-cutting exercises.

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