Facing increased competition and downward pressure on margins, professional services organizations (PSOs) are scrambling for ways to reduce costs. One key territory they’re scoping: the cost of IT.
A recent survey from IDG revealed that average IT spend per employee is $15,660. This is a pretty significant number and means that even a relatively small organization (about 100 employees) is looking at more than $1.5 million in annual IT spend. Wow. Figuring out how to optimize these costs can lead to substantial savings annually.
Notice I didn’t say reduce; rather, the key word is optimize. Technology is an investment, especially with new capabilities available to make consultants even more efficient. Consider these possibilities:
Cloud applications. Several studies have shown that, over five years, the total cost of ownership of cloud solutions is less than that of an on-premises solution. But more important, cloud computing brings flexibility that helps drive innovation and competitive advantage—a must-have in any PSO environment.
Mobile options. PSOs epitomize the highly mobile workforce. The worst thing you could do is tether staff to their desks—no matter how much you save. That means applications should be mobile-enabled as well, from collaboration tools to time and expense management applications. Furthermore, giving employees a subsidy to use their own mobile devices saves money.
Big Data. PSOs are increasingly deluged with information they need in order to stay competitive. Smart PSOs are turning to “big data” solutions that allow them to analyze not only traditional databases but also unstructured data in surveys, social media channels, customer service records, sales and marketing pipelines, weblogs, videos, text documents and myriad other sources, both internal and external. That kind of innovation empowers them to glean insight from the data and leverage it to create efficiencies, develop new services and ultimately become more competitive.
Some PSOs just spend money on IT, but smarter ones invest money in IT. SAP can help determine which kind of PSO you are. In fact, an IDG Research survey shows that SAP customers spend 21 percent less on IT for their employees than other companies—something attainable that any PSO can strive for.
For more details on the results of the IDG Research survey covering multiple facets of issues facing professional services, click here.
Reducing IT Spend Per Employee In Professional Services Organizations