With an increasing number of challenges emerging for businesses, from inflation to the energy crisis, three Chief Technology Officers from the companies associated with Software Development Association Poland (SoDA) give their advice on how leaders can cut costs to innovate on a budget.
According to a McKinsey & Company report, ‘A better way to cut costs’, 79 per cent of companies have cut costs in response to the current global economic crisis. While this is true in most industries, a recent report from Garner Inc. also forecasts IT spending worldwide to increase to $4.6 trillion in 2023 – a 5.1% increase from 2022.
According to the report, the IT industry is ‘recession-proof’ in many ways, due to the reliance businesses have on technology to function. Particularly in the post-Covid era where digital transformation has accelerated.
While budgets may not necessarily be decreasing for this industry specifically, it is good practice for Chief Technology Officers (CTOs) and business leaders to use their budgets in creative and effective ways, which ultimately leads to increased revenue and cash flow.
According to CTOs, Marcin Sadowski, Mikolaj Graf, and Matt Mulvaney, finding creative ways to oversee technology and those operating it is the first step in cutting costs while meeting targets and remaining competitive.
Aligned teams enable efficient work
Marcin Sadowski, CTO of Mobile Reality, a member of SoDA Poland, believes that retaining money can be done by ensuring your employees work together efficiently with a thorough understanding of the product.
Marcin said: “Technology plays a vital role in running business processes, but it is important to remember that an equal responsibility falls on the team operating the technology. It is crucial to be strategic in your team choices which can enhance the usage of any chosen technology, solution, or product.”
Having teams that work together effectively makes for more engaged employees while also increasing productivity, inevitably leading to your business boosting the bottom line.
Marcin continued: “Clients frequently approach me with a myriad of problems but usually, the problem originates from a lack of management, product vision, and team drive – not the technology. Businesses will be surprised at the savings they will achieve when they employ teams that are aligned and work together effectively.”
Focus on cost efficiency over cost saving
Mikolaj Graf, CEO and CTO of Cloudsail Digital Solutions, a member of SoDA Poland, believes businesses miss out when focusing on cost-saving rather than cost-efficient options. Cost efficiency is a fundamental skill and value to enforce when making business decisions. Cost-efficient business leaders focus on output vs cost. They weigh the pros and cons against the costs and make decisions with that information.
Mikolaj said: “Being cost-effective can look different for each business, even if they are in the same industry. Decision makers must take in numerous factors based on what you know about your business and those who work within it.
“For us at Cloudsail, it meant using one programming language across all our applications and components. We also moved from an on-premises infrastructure to the cloud to leverage the pay-as-you-go (utilisation-based) pricing model, all while removing obsolete deployment processes.”
She continued: “Finding cost-effective methods that work for your business should be a priority. I have seen this mindset change lead to a significant increase in employee productivity and a reduction in staffing costs.”
Low-code helps achieve low-costs
Another way businesses can look to cut costs is by relying on and implementing low-code software and products. Low-code development creates software that allows users to build functional applications with little coding.
Matt Mulvaney, CTO at Pretius Low-Code, a member of SoDA Poland, has seen an increase in company productivity and a reduction in development, maintenance, and IT costs while utilising low-code.
Matt said: “Software maintenance can swallow a significant amount of budget and grows when your business does. Due to its user-friendly platform, consisting of built-in development tools and drag-and-drop interfaces, IT professionals of any level will be able to maintain software and applications.
“In my experience, low-code has acted as an incredible resource in helping clients stay agile and nimble. It has enabled businesses to lead way ahead of their competitors due to the ability to scale, react, and develop technology within the business – all while delivering on a key area business decision makers focus on – cost reduction.”
Finding solutions for your business’s budget
Whatever industry you are in, it is critical to consider your business and employees before implementing cash injections or reductions. Finding creative alternatives that save your business cash might come in unexpected ways.
Leaders need to have an open mind to solutions and be willing to move things around, whether it be employees, teams, technology, software, or product, to ensure the businesses financial wellbeing and processes are at their full potential.
Mikolaj concluded: “Saving money is a spectrum. It can take many forms and be achieved in numerous ways. Understanding that low-cost doesn’t always mean low-quality is something that cannot be understated. Whether it is exploring outsourcing options, switching to the cloud, or embracing a remote workforce, finding a balance of business needs within a budget can be done. Business leaders only need the willingness to explore available options.”