Banking

IT budgets: How to waste money and get fired

Most IT departments still waste money in lots of common and avoidable ways. TechRepublic has put together a special report to help IT leaders identify the most common ways that IT departments throw money away.

CIOs always have the responsibility of practicing strict financial management because IT budgets are such a large line item in most corporate budgets. Nevertheless, most IT departments still waste money in lots of common and avoidable ways.

In a recession, wasting money will not only hurt your department and your company, but it can also be the quickest way to get yourself fired. TechRepublic has put together a special report to help IT leaders identify the most common ways that IT departments waste money.

Here are some of the issues that are identified in the report:

  • Waste energy
  • Spend too much on mobile technology
  • Use consultants when the job could be done by staff
  • Hire full-time employees when contractors would be more cost effective
  • Make unnecessary upgrades
  • Don't use the training budget effectively

Download the PDF special report to get the full list and read all of the details.

About

Jason Hiner is the Global Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Global Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He is an award-winning journalist who writes about the people, products, and ideas that are revolutionizing the ways we live and work in the 21st century.

16 comments
arignote
arignote

I work for the government. None of this applies. We waste money all the time. We hire expensive full-time technical employees (FTEs), make them do paperwork, have them go to meetings 2-8 hours/day, don't give them training, and don't let them do technical work, so they lose their technical skills. We then hire contractors for 2-4 times the rate of the FTEs to do the technical work. We also hire managers to attend meetings 6-8 hours a day, create checklists and make sure the technical staff fills out the checklists. The managers then get contractors to help develop the checklists. We also have paperwork required by other government agencies, such as capital planning and budget, which require full time employees and a few contractors to complete. The salaries for theses government employees range about GS11-15. Mainly 13-14 for ?technical staff? and 14-15 for managers (see: http://opm.gov/flsa/oca/09tables/html/dcb.asp) We only fire CIOs and some managers after money goes unaccounted for (sometimes in the millions). They then go work for contractors or other government agencies. Of course some agencies are better. Mine happens to be low on the list of government agencies to work for.

rupaa62
rupaa62

its a miricle that someone has mention something in a article that shows IT managers and CIO's are morons! Allot of wasted money, and poor management! I can say the consultant issue is a big one because allot of CIO's want to get their pet projects done but in the end it cost more using a consultant and when the project is done no one uses it! Training budgets are wasted on sending the IT people to the same old classes over and over of OS systems when it could be spent better on other software teachings becuase there is always someone who has that special software and no one in IT has training on it.

santeewelding
santeewelding

No, I did not read the nine-page PDF. I examined your summary. Serendipitously, there appeared an advertisement alongside your piece by mysupercoolblog.com, that screamed: CARTOON YOURSELF. The ad switches between the photo of a pretty, young woman and a cartoon rendition. The cartoon, although good, as they go, does not quite capture the genius of her visage. Something about her eyes that it does not get. I say all this in that I am, and have been, looking hard, very hard, at all -- every single one of -- my costs. The greatest danger I realize is to cartoon the nature of what I do.

LarryD4
LarryD4

Yes government is notorious wasters, best example i have, In my first three years of employment the IT Manager spent 35,000 dollars on servers and technology. Of the servers and hardware purchased we are using only 11k of it presently and the rest of the hardware has been sitting in storage. Oh and we spent 11K to purchase a program to keep track of when each employee logs in and logs out for the day. Something that Windows does automatically. But we needed a new MS-SQL server and a 6K product to do it. Why are the other servers sitting in storage? Because my IT Manager didn't know that we were not allowed to put unix servers on the network.............. Yes I'm not making it up. And yes he still is the IT Manager.

Anonymous One
Anonymous One

I guess you are in a little world of your own and an arrogant world at that. I would speculate that there are some CIO's and IT Managers who are what you say but then, there are a fair and equitable number of technical staff who are also. Obviously, you missed the spelling class and may be in the Boneheads and Morons group yourself. If nothing else, you are the judgemental person who classifies all by the actions of a few.

The 'G-Man.'
The 'G-Man.'

I would say my years as a Technical/PC Support & Infrastructure Engineer put me in a good position. With a wage to match also! EDIT: No biography eh, nothing to show I guess.

boxfiddler
boxfiddler

Caricature that we allow ourselves to become, cartoon is next. Prostitution in the extreme. Thanks for that...

Certifiable
Certifiable

I work for a government entity that throughout it's many branches develops and re-develops the wheel over and over and over... Allowing little megolomaniac "developers" to act like they own the code that gov't paid them to write. Private industry has you sign agreements that the company owns the code if you write it while working for them. So these essentially unchecked developers are allowed to create similar stovepiped applications with no standardization and little ability to merge data without manually "automating" the process. Non working CIOs or IT managers. Can be a liability. If they are not current on the technologies, they start to become like any other non technical manager. 1. Resume builders to come in for a few years and spout canned phrases. 2. Non technical IT managers can potentially become a useless figurehead manipulated and operated or at least beholden to the current working IT chief. or worse.. 3. A yes man/woman to whatever political wind that blows. 4. A willing reciever of whatever crafty consultant blows smoke up next to their brain. If the current IT person was so competant they should be or should have been the CIO.

AndyKaz
AndyKaz

While it's not a large percentage of the budget, it is easily (IMHO) avoidable. A lack of planning or concern results in massive overnight shipping costs that amounts to several thousand dollars per year. That's sushi for my team once a week for a year!

jdclyde
jdclyde

Does it make us money? Does it save us money? If you can not answer "YES" to one or both of those statements, then you should not be spending the money.

Jackiesolution
Jackiesolution

I feel just the same as you. Sometimes they know nothing...but yes, e.. he is the manager.

santeewelding
santeewelding

Thank you. You just now put a point to what I had meanderingly attempted.

arignote
arignote

Certifiable, If you weren't california, I would have though you worked at my agency.

jessicadisney
jessicadisney

Usually I would agree that the question of does it make us money or save us money should factor into spending, however sometimes there is overhead - the cost of doing business. For instance, a system upgrade that isn't really necessary from my standpoint but because shippers have changed their manifests or surcharge fees, or banks have changed their credit card file formats we get to upgrade and because there is no upgrade just for that part - it is system wide. Do I look at additional functionality that down the road can make us money? You bet, but it isn't the reason we're spending the money. We're spending the money to be in compliance.

Jeff.sergeant
Jeff.sergeant

If you add 'does it stop us losing money' then that would cover your scenario.. and most maintenance scenarios.