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Penny-Pinching All-Stars

Penny-Pinching All-Stars

For CIOs at companies with historically small profit margins, a recession means little change. Read how they make every IT dollar count

* You Didn't Invent a Budget Squeeze

Managing with tighter budget controls may be new to you, but CIOs in low-margin industries have been doing it for years. Budget constraints will force you to be creative and resourceful, but working on a shoestring shouldn't paralyse you, Cargill CIO Taylor says.

"Just because we operate in a tight sector doesn't mean we can't do new or exciting things, like the proprietary plant optimisation system we just built,"he says. "You just have to watch the pennies."

Do you have pointers on how to manage budgets during tough times?E-mail them to the editor linda_kennedy@idg.com.au.

SIDEBAR: Tips from Low-Margin CIOs

How to get the most from every IT budget dollar.

- Invest only in projects that are linked to business goals and will show ROI within three to six months.

- Survey your administrative and infrastructure costs for unnecessary spending that can be cut.

- Decide whether you can forgo in-house software development in favour of keeping development with the vendors.

- Get more for your money by renegotiating licensing contracts with software vendors and service providers on a regular basis.

- Standardise desktops, servers and major software packages to save in maintenance and operations.

- Take a close look at your expenses to be sure you aren't paying for software or hardware that you don't use.

- Look to charge your IT organisation's customers for the systems and services they use.

- If the chance is there, take your IT department independent and charge your parent company for IT services as a consultant.

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