I won't even say businesses are trimming the fat. That is so 2008! It's ugly out there and now it's down to trimming muscle and bone. This is dangerous business for business. Perhaps you can get away with a little muscle and bone. But, what about vital organs? The key word is vital. So, what's vital in your IT department?
Here are some tips to fight off the bean counters in your company:
1. Crunch the numbers before they do. What's the ROI on your core technologies? What technologies are streamlining the business and saving on staffing?
2. Accountants (I'm not one. But, I am the daughter of one. I know how tough they can be.) like hard numbers. Some things are vital to the business and, unfortunately, are not quantitative. How do you calculate the value of the corporate blog, for example? Put together a well-thought out brief and make sure the higher ups see it.
3. What upgrades are absolutely essential and which ones are not? Prepare your arguements accordingly.
4. You're IT. Hold your head up and remember it's 2009. The business can't do squat without you, including send out a simple invoice, answer an e-mail or archive a document for retrievel later. Remember; that budget they are cutting was pulled together off a database you maintain. Use your gravitas and fight for what is really important.
5. Pick out your own sacrificial lambs. What really can go? Some suggestions; freeze upcoming projects and all hiring, cancel trade show travel, outsource what you can, stop buying more servers and adding on to your data storage room/closet - get on the cloud!
6. It's time to get blood out of turnip. Put the squeeze on all your vendors. They don't want to lose you. They're hurting too. Renegotiate all your service contracts. Get more and pay less.
Some would say that if you do all the trimming yourself that would leave nothing but vital organs left for the accounting department when they come a'callin'. There's probably some truth to that depending on the work culture at your organization. However, it's hard to pick on a department too much that can fully explain and account for every expenditure and demonstrate it's already running a tight, responsible ship.