For Public Sector IT, it’s that annual time when new budgets are allocated and investment plans are finalized in preparation for a new financial year.
With purse strings still quite tight after the financial crisis of 2008, squeezing every bit of value out of budgets is vital for continued and effective public investment. Nowhere is this more true than Public Sector IT, where driving down costs while improving systems, security, governance, operations and more is a major challenge.
So, how can Public Sector IT functions meet investment objectives and drive down costs? The answer is a combination of shrewd investment planning and supplementing IT budgets with additional funds from three key areas.
1) Reallocating IT Costs
At Certero, we often see private sector organizations successfully reallocate IT costs across other business units, operational functions or departments. In doing so, these other areas carry the financial share of the IT resources they consume. The result is a liberation of budget back into the IT coffers, which can be used to fund additional investment priorities. This approach also works for the Public Sector.
Full visibility of the hardware, software and cloud assets that comprise your IT estate is fundamental to success. After all, you can’t manage what you can’t see, and you can’t control your IT assets if you’ve got no (or limited) visibility of them. What this means is, if you can’t see what IT assets you’ve got, where they are being used and by whom, reallocation of IT costs can’t be achieved. And if you can’t reallocate your costs, a significant chunk of your IT budget remains consumed by other areas of your organization – blocking you from driving other investments.
2) Prioritizing Investments & Squeezing Assets
However, when it comes to driving those IT investments, you may be faced with some tough decisions around what initiatives to prioritize and which assets to squeeze more value out of.
While you might have many pain points to address the problem you’re most likely to have is the age and condition of your IT assets, which may be five years old – or more. Many of these assets need to be replaced and some may already be exposing your organization to serious cyber security risks. Squeezing another five years out of them simply isn’t possible and investment is necessary to protect networks and mission critical operations.
Making decisions about what to do can’t be completely successful without a comprehensive understanding of what IT assets you have. But if you can successfully demonstrate this level of understanding and control over your IT estate and its expenditure, you are far more likely to secure additional funding to resolve identified (and prioritized) issues.
3) Software License Costs
So, let’s assume you’ve successfully reallocated your IT costs, you’ve identified which assets you can squeeze, you’ve prioritized your investments for the year ahead and secured additional budget. Where else can you raise capital?
For many organizations, software licensing is one such area. However, it can go either way. What this means is:
a) You may be over-licensed or,
b) You may be under-licensed.
If you are over-licensed, optimizing your software and cloud assets can help raise extra funds for additional IT investments. These funds are not likely to be accessible in the short-term and can often only be realized after an annual renewal. But, by reducing your software license expenditure, you may be able to free up these funds at various stages throughout the next financial year to continue driving your investment plans.
However, if you are under-licensed you are almost certain to be non-compliant with your contractual terms and conditions. This could lead to additional charges and back maintenance costs – potentially to the tune of millions of pounds. So, instead of raising funds to drive your IT investment priorities, you’ll end up sacrificing your budget to pay for additional charges and penalties – this will obliterate any investment plans you have for the year ahead (and possibly beyond).
Optimized License Position
To determine whether or not you are over or under licensed, you will need a unified ITAM and SAM platform and program that covers all your environments, servers and devices (across all your key vendors), with fully automated processes to support you. Why? This is the only reliable way to control your IT assets, determine your Effective License Position across all your software vendors (Microsoft, Oracle, IBM, SAP etc.), optimize your licenses (or reduce your exposure) and maintain everything going forward. Many organizations attempt to do this with spreadsheets or a fragmented collection of substandard technologies and guess what? Those organizations always get tripped up with additional charges and never truly achieve an Optimized License Position – you don’t have to be one of them!
To achieve these objectives, especially before the start of the new financial year, you may need expert support. Certero have helped over 100 Public Sector organizations, from central to local government and the NHS to Police Services.
With a wealth of experience in the Public Sector, our ITAM and SAM experts are perfectly placed to help you get the visibility, data and insight you need to drive your investment priorities for the year ahead. How? By supporting you with a mixture of technology solutions and/or professional services to quickly:
- automate your ITAM and SAM processes
- gain visibility, data and insight to support reallocation of IT costs
- enable decision making around investment prioritization and asset squeezing
- identify Effective License Positions across all vendors
- help you optimize license costs
- help you reduce exposure (avoiding potential penalty charges)
In addition, our solutions can help you improve your IT governance, cyber security and transformational objectives, and enable you to support your wider stakeholder audiences with valuable insights.
If you want to talk to one of our experts about this and other challenges you’re facing, contact our team today.