Yes, that's right: information security. I'm not saying it's unimportant. I'm saying that if you have to choose between paying your MPLS carrier and paying for information security, MPLS wins. A lot of businesses run on luck because they can't afford to spend much on risk management. If you have to put your TECAP into play, you might be one of them.
Now that you have the numbers, rank discretionary spending in order of importance. If you have to cut, you'll want to cut from the least important on in, of course.
As for the nondiscretionary spending, 2008 changed the rules for a lot of companies. The rule used to be that you invest in infrastructure to minimize the cost of growth. Now that economic volatility is the new normal, this way of working shouldn't be automatic; once you use infrastructure to keep down the cost of growth, you can't shed costs very easily if growth turns into shrinkage.
This is, by the way, the single most compelling economic argument in favor of cloud computing -- not that it's less expensive, but that it lets you shrink spending without penalty when processing volume decreases, assuming you've negotiated your contracts properly.
One more thing: If you haven't virtualized everything you can in the data center, what are you waiting for? What virtualization adds to your TECAP is that it cuts the cost of infrastructure by putting your spare capacity in a single shared pool instead of needing to allocate headroom application by application. All in all, you'll need less spare capacity that way -- and that slashes your infrastructure bills.
IT survival tip No. 4: Pinpoint organizational chart luxuries
Here's one you should probably do without involving your leadership team: Decide which branches of your organizational chart are, in the last analysis, luxuries you could do without.
Do you have a technical architecture team? If you have to cut deep, you might have to make do with a less formal approach to architecture. A PMO? Likewise, assuming you have any projects left. Business relationship managers? Sorry, we're talking about hacking to the bone right now, and they don't qualify as bone.
Another luxury you might have to cut back on is managers and supervisors. It isn't that they provide no value. It's that if you compare the value managing the work delivers to the value the work itself delivers, the work will probably win.
* * *
A plug: If you decide you want a more in-depth look at IT cost control, my friend Anita Cassidy's "A Practical Guide to Reducing IT Costs" is your bible -- highly recommended.
This story, "The IT survival guide for uncertain times," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Read more of Bob Lewis's Advice Line blog on InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.