The Habit of IT Spending Optimization


Marie suddenly woke up in the middle of the night. “It was a dream, wasn’t it?” she asked herself. “Yes, thank god! It was so real!”.

No way to get asleep again, though: her mind started working, and she decided to get up and have a cup of tea.

“Why am I so troubled?” she wondered.

She dreamt her boss calling an unplanned meeting to announce their budget would be cut by 30% for the coming year. No way to negotiate it.

It wasn’t real, but what was wrong? She was ready to submit her budget proposal for next year, with a substantial increase she was determined to protect.

She grabbed her notebook and started to write down her thoughts. The first one was a question: “how much is cost-efficiency a priority for me and my team”? She instantly got why she couldn’t sleep and started writing down her plan to make it happen”.


In this fictional story, Marie probably understood that defending her budget increase proposal wasn’t enough in this fictional story. Where else could she bring improvements? Could she eventually finance it herself, or part of it?

Practical questions for you as an IT leader to know your spending better are:

  • do you know how you spend, with an “industrial” perspective (not an accountant one), meaning cost per service, asset, and their trend over time?
  • how is your IT spending growing versus your assets’ business usage over time?
  • to which principles are your teams’ spending proposals adhering?
  • how seriously are you challenging spending requests from your team?
  • how are you measuring your spending efficiency over time?
  • how’s your run/change costs ratio evolving?

If spending optimization becomes a habit, you may find paths you couldn’t even figure to add value to your Company, not only by spending less but spending better.