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Doing more with less IT budget after Covid-19

After the crisis, you'll be expected to do more with less IT budget

2020/2021 are going to be challenging years. You will be expected to do far more with less budget. The economy is going to shrink by 13%. Unemployment will soar by 2 million. [1] & [2] Consumer demand will slump. Companies will see a drop-in demand.  IT is a big line item on any company’s budget. IT budgets will be slashed.[5]

You can get ahead of the curve now and deliver far more for less. That means doing things differently.

Your challenge, keeping live systems up while reducing spend

You are going to see cuts in people, technology and office space.  Even with the cuts, you will still be expected to deliver the same level of service or more. Your board will be unsympathetic and expect you to make it work. They won’t understand the challenges and risks.

  1. Your teams will be smaller and busier than ever. That means less time for non-feature development activities, e.g. quality assurance, change of management, operations, etc. There will be more context switching, higher burnout and issues will be missed. This translates to increased risks of outages in live.

  2. Your teams will have less technology budget. Cloud technology capacity gains are only 15% per year. (Bezos’ law.[3]) New features will soon swallow any capacity gains. FinOps is reactive [4], it does not answer the tough questions, like:

    1. “How much value is this system delivering?”
    2. “Can we deliver the same amount of value more efficiently?”

  3. Your teams will be remote working more. Remote working is great for focusing on what you deliver on a regular basis or responding to crisis. It is less effective when you are doing things differently.

The solution, actionable insights from live modelling experiments

Image for Blog333Look at live data in a way you haven’t looked at before.  Experiment with live to get missing data.  Build models using the experimental data. Run model scenarios to get actionable insights on where and when to make investments.  In parallel, bring key stakeholders along the journey.

Finally, package up the actionable insights to make a business case for investment decisions. This approach will remove test cycles and feed efficiency improvements into the product backlog.

Before you embark on the journey to deliver more with less, you will need to answer these three critical questions:

  1. How do you use your data beyond dashboards and reports? (Don’t say machine learning)
  2. How will you provide confidence to the organisation to experiment in live?
  3. How will you measure the accuracy of your models?

Completing the journey will allow you to maintain live service quality, while reducing the cost of running the services. Successful delivery of this will make you look like a super-hero.

References

[1] https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/obr-analysis-reveals-staggering-impact-of-Covid-19-on-the-UK-economy

[2] https://obr.uk/coronavirus-analysis/

[3] https://appdevelopermagazine.com/why-the-cost-of-cloud-computing-is-dropping-dramatically/

[4] Cloud FinOps, Storment and Fuller.

[5] https://siliconangle.com/2020/04/02/coronavirus-fallout-cios-now-expect-budgets-fall-4-2020/

 

How to confidently scale back your cloud spend