As I’ve mentioned many times in the past, technology offers plenty of money-saving potential for businesses. That being said, technology can also have the opposite effect if left unchecked.
In what ways might technology waste money? I just read a very interesting article on Infoworld.com entitled, “IT’s 6 biggest money wasters.” While a couple of the items listed fall more into the “Ways IT can save money” category, I thought it offered some great overall insight. However, I do believe the first and second points should be expanded a bit further.
On the first point, I agree with the author—unused software licenses are a big money waster. But, software licenses waste money in other ways as well. In fact, many software licenses include fees aimed at milking as much money from you as possible. This is especially true for large companies with many users and ASPs/SAAS vendors that distribute applications.
Also, I really liked the second point: Companies waste a lot of money on paper. However, relying heavily on paper typically means that one (or both) of these two things is true:
1. You have disparate systems that don’t communicate with each other. This leads to duplicate data entry into multiple systems, which wastes time, and therefore money.
2. You don’t have web applications in place that let you distribute data electronically. For example, can your customers complete online forms and submit them electronically? Do you print out reports on paper and hand deliver them, or do you email them from the same application?
Chances are, if you look hard enough, you’ll find a few money saving opportunities for your company. How about you? Can you think of any common ways that IT (or a company in general) might waste money?