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Winning The War For Talent With IT Service Cost Management

Auteur(s): Paul Groen

When organizations in all industries are struggling to attract talent, IDC explores opportunities for dealing with this shortage.


Organizations in all industries are struggling to attract talent. The shortage of potential employees is a problem that has plagued the IT sector for years but has possibly never been worse than it is now. In this blog IDC explores opportunities for dealing with this shortage.

Employee benefits

The most obvious perspective to consider is that of salary. Benchmarking employee expenses will allow your organization to match your peers and stop losing employees over salary competition.

Another benefit of benchmarking salary cost is tackling the possible internal tug of war for budget increases. An independent benchmark report is often useful to convince senior management that additional budget is required, if the benchmark points this out.

However, employees are not motivated by salary alone. For many, satisfaction also comes from working on cutting-edge technology, something that only some IT organizations allow an employee to do. In contrast, maintaining legacy systems at less competitive organizations may not be interesting to IT professionals who love to experience technology. In a benchmark, the technologies maintained by the IT staff are closely examined and compared to peers. IDC identifies key areas to innovate your business’ digital transformation, keeping IT staff engaged at the same time.

Optimize your current environment

Another perspective to take is optimizing the existing situation. If finding new IT talent is challenging, IT management must consider ways to maximize the use of existing employees. With talent being as scarce as it is, management must be fully aware of possible optimizations.

A benchmark will show how teams are performing in terms of productivity and where potential exists.

Because IDC’s data collection methods dive deep into your IT administration and governance, gaps that no doubt exist are discovered and reported on. The results of a benchmark will uncover where your automation is lacking and whether your end users are educated to market conform levels. All of these insights will allow you to deliver more and better IT with the resources that you already have available.

Rationalizing and consolidating your IT environment has many benefits and generally offers an attractive business case. That said, possibly the most interesting result is simply reducing the amount of IT that needs to be managed by the talent that is so scarce. The size and complexity of the IT environment is a large factor in our benchmarks, be it the complexity of the networks, the size of the datacenter services, the setup of the end user workplace, or the amount of contract management and governance required. IDC reports on all of these components and shows the way to reducing unnecessary complexity and size.

Is outsourcing the way?

Finally, if the options of increasing budgets, optimizing teams, and reducing complexity are exhausted, outsourcing more of the IT services can be considered. Outsourcing can be a relatively quick answer to a suboptimal internal IT team, but it does not come without its share of challenges. The first step is deciding which IT domains are attractive candidates to place under a contract. In other words, an organization needs a sourcing strategy. This strategy will determine how each part of the IT organization should be sourced and what a fitting roadmap to get there should look like. Prioritization of rationalization projects are also considered, as well as the potential to supplement existing teams with external talent from an IT supplier.

Cost is, of course, an important factor in deciding which sourcing scenarios are feasible for the organization. IDC will provide so called ‘landing zones’ in which the future cost of a sourcing scenario are modeled based on the current IT market. This is essentially a virtual benchmark of your IT organization as if parts of it were outsourced.

Finally, if IT is outsourced in some way, the existing organization should also change. External contract governance and service management capabilities need to evolve and a future organizational model needs to be constructed. When transforming the organization, one must also consider whether it is attractive to re-educate the existing teams into roles that are needed in the new organization.

The ongoing war on talent is challenging. This blog, however, has hopefully shown that the tools to navigate this challenge exist. IDC continues to help organizations daily and to us, the current market offers new and exciting ways to help CIOs globally.

Interested in diving deeper into IT Service Cost Management? Check out our infographic.

48% of enterprises plan to keep spending steadily on cloud, according to IDC research, making cloud costs a focus for IT leaders. And, the majority of organizations believe they’re overspending on cloud.

The first blog in this two-part series described how tools may provide an opportunity to reduce costs. But as many organizations are aware that they need to improve their cloud spending habits, the process that it takes to get there often seems exorbitant, causing them to instead disregard the changes needed to turn their cloud spending around. This blog intends to show that the time and resources involved in executing shouldn’t deter companies from making the necessary changes. 

From insights to process, these two companies found that hiring a partner to guide them through the work needed to transform their cloud costs, in ways that were custom to their needs, made all the difference in ensuring that they not only followed through on executing a plan of action but giving them a successful outcome. 

An international telecommunications company has migrated its entire infrastructure to the public cloud (AWS and Azure) and uses a broker towards AWS and Microsoft, performing contract management and basic security services. For both providers, a System Integrator (SI) has been contracted to provide managed services (IM and TAM) on top of the cloud providers.  

During the migration, cloud costs rose above the available budgets that had been set, based on advice by the SI’s. During migration, the SI’s focused on the project deadlines rather than optimizing and saving on what was already running in the cloud. The telecommunications company turned to IDC Metri for independent advice on cloud cost savings. 

IDC Metri has helped to improve tooling, and to define processes and ways of working, for this telecommunications company to analyze and manage cloud costs themselves. IT leaders can learn from their experience that recommendations from tools, including those from cloud providers, aren’t always realistic. They tend to be opportunistic, like suggesting that all instances should be reserved for three years, and that this will save over 50% of costs for those instances. That is the same as expecting your IT landscape to remain the same within that time – this is simply not true. 

PostNL has been one of the first listed companies in the Netherlands to go ‘all in’ to the public cloud, starting in 2012. Nowadays, PostNL is in the second stage transforming all of its bespoke applications from IaaS to PaaS solutions, like BI/Analytics platforms, container platforms and serverless computing. When compared to IaaS, price models for PaaS are more usage based than capacity based. Saving costs on usage-based priced services means optimizing the software, rather than the underlying infrastructure. 

Unlike the anonymous international telecommunications company in our example, PostNL doesn’t have SI’s in-between them and the cloud providers that offer managed services. The application teams, mainly DevOps based, are managing the cloud infrastructure themselves. Also here, cloud costs had an upward trend, from which PostNL has asked IDC Metri to bend it. 

IDC Metri has made recommendations, which were much less supported by tools, since these focus on IaaS, rather than PaaS. With the top 10 teams concerning costs, alignment has been done on savings, which has led to about 8% savings. A must know here is that large scale optimizations, such as applying savings plans, had already been done by PostNL itself. The savings IDC Metri helped to achieve were more on architecture and licenses. 

In conclusion, using tools that generate recommendations is only the starting point for achieving savings. First of all, the recommendations need to be taken with a grain of salt since they tend to be rather opportunistic. Furthermore, a list of recommendations is one thing, to actually achieve savings, hereby overcoming indifference or even resistance to save costs, is another thing. IDC Metri does support the full process, from analyzing costs through setting up processes to actually achieving savings. 

Can’t wait until the next blog is published to learn more about cutting cloud costs? Contact us to schedule a conversation. 

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