The Guardian recently published a thought-provoking article on the Circular Economy. One of the kye takeaways was that today our economy is inherently linear and this is ‘undermining the very foundation of our future’. Circular Economy will address this, whereby less wastage will reduce the damage on the planet.

But the Circular Economy has so much more to offer, it will have a very real and very significant impact on our economy. The Guardian article suggests an ‘estimated net savings of £523bn to European companies.’

At 3 Step IT we have been focused on the Circular Economy, recognising both the environmental and economic benefits. We have been making a series of small differences for over 20 years, through our circular approach to purchasing IT equipment. We find new homes for IT equipment and transform the old way of make-take-dispose to make-take-reuse

And when you consider manufacturing just one computer and monitor it takes roughly 530lb (240kg) 1.5 tonnes of fossil fuel, 48lb (21.8kg) of chemicals, and 1.5 tonnes of water. Yet we discard 20 – 50 million metric tonnes of e-waste every year!

Since our humble beginnings, we have refurbished and reused over 5 million devices. We have delivered over £125 million in savings for our customers and reduced the impact on the environment by doubling the lifecycle of refurbished equipment.

The actions of us as a single company, is like a butterfly flapping its wings. If we all collaborate and play our role in the Circular Economy, the changes we make today, will make a massive difference to tomorrow.

If you have any old kit gathering dust, why not get in touch. We can take your old kit and unlock the cash value in it, which you can invest back into your business. And you can make your first step towards contributing towards a Circular Economy.

When IT and technology purchases are planned, it is important to remember the 20/80 principle: from the total costs of a workstation (TCO, Total Cost of Ownership), the share of equipment costs is only 20%. This means that the equipment purchase price as such does not consume the largest share of the ICT budget.

First – Fix the 20% of costs

Cost savings related to equipment purchases can be obtained through competitive bidding processes, rational equipment choices and flexible it-equipment leasing. Owning is often the most inefficient option both due to the related spend and the lack of comprehensive lifecycle management services.

When you have optimised the purchase price, it is time to move on to the total cost of ownership. The use phase-related costs in the ICT budget are the area in which it is advisable to target the most extensive rationalisation projects and cost-saving efforts. 

What does the 80% of costs consist of?

The largest cost item consists of areas such as maintenance, data security updates, software updates, user support, IT problem management, software, software licences, various integrations, and applications. IT departments are busy administrating the workstations in use instead of focusing on their actual main tasks – not to mention the handling of equipment write-offs.

Proactive and smart lifecycle management is the model that helps reduce ICT costs. Lifecycle management can be applied to the management of existing hardware, but it also works in situations in which more hardware is obtained and operations are expanded. It is of paramount importance that the overall process functions well when combined with the customer’s IT and the processes of the customer’s IT partners. This is supported by an asset register and an easy equipment return process with short lead times and guaranteed information security.

An asset register may be necessary in future due to various regulations and requirements if the organisation is required to prove its professional administration practices. The new information security and data protection requirements (such as the GDPR) include requirements concerning the monitoring of data related to hardware asset management.

What are the cost savings in practice?

TCO calculations help you target the cost-savings correctly. Proactive and smart lifecycle management helps achieve significant cost-savings in the following ways:

  • IT equipment rentals from a limited selection (CYOD model)
  • Anticipating problems with computers, meaning real-time monitoring of their functioning
  • Optimising the development roadmap with help from experts
  • Providing an affordable leasing price for efficient workstations that have been in business use and thus recycling hardware within the company’s own organisation
  • Improving the efficiency of pre-installations and logistics
  • Automating monitoring
  • Ensuring the quality of IT equipment

Speak to one of our experts today.

We often hear it’s cheaper to sweat IT assets until they reach end of life. Now before we dive in, by IT assets, we are specifically referring to laptops, desktops, smartphones and tablets. These are the tools that your employees rely on to do their jobs. No doubt you want to equip your employees with reliable equipment, rather than devices that damage and disrupt their work. Pretty important then!

And it raises the question: is sweating the asset the best approach? Based on the experience of over 4000 customers, we have concluded that the optimum period to keep desktops and laptops is 3-4 years, for smartphones it’s nearer 2 years! Any longer and their performance starts deteriorating (see video from one of our customers below)

The video clearly illustrates the issues associated with ‘sweating’ assets. If you only look at the surface and what you spend, as G4S did, you don’t fully recognise and acknowledge total cost of ownership.

So, surely it’s better to find the optimum lifetime for your assets and consider how you can build a life cycle plan for those assets? There is a reason manufacturers only provide a 2 or 3 year warranty. They don’t want to take the risk after this period. It’s not worth it!

Hopefully you can see that the status quo of sweating assets, isn’t the cheap option it appears to be. There are costs, which are either hidden or not truly acknowledged.

1. Maintenance costs – How many tickets are raised by users, which your IT team have to deal with? The operational costs and strain on your IT department will grow as your assets age. This also distracts your IT department from focusing on value add initiatives.

2. Productivity costs – we have all experienced the frustrations when your laptop takes forever to turn on, or is operating slowly, or worst of all it crashes. You lose your work and get disrupted when you’re in the zone. This has a real and significant impact on productivity of your employees.

3. Replacement costs – Well to begin with there are the costs of getting rid of old IT assets, complicated by a miscellany of replacement parts, and… You get the picture. The costs can escalate.

4. Opportunity costs – new equipment works better; Batteries last longer; wi-fi connects more reliably; performance is better. Your employees will work better if you give them better tools.

So don’t just follow the ‘sweating assets is cheaper’ philosophy, just because you have always done it that way. Consider a different approach, a better approach.

By using technology that fuels data about your IT estate, you can manage your assets in a more sustainable way that reduces total cost of ownership and provides your employees with the best performing tools for the job. You can also begin to formalise an idea about when your assets need to be replaced, before they become a drag on your IT department. And if you wrap this around finance that’s designed to allow you to be agile, you can replace your assets more efficiently.

And a final point: you can begin to reverse the old model of users raising tickets when their device fails. By empowering your IT team with information about each device and how it’s performing (start-up time, number of crashes, and number of application failures, etc.) your IT team can be proactive. They can tell the user there’s a potential problem with their device and fix it before it becomes a real issue. Everyone knows prevention is better than cure.

Sweating assets is a reactive strategy and it relies on ‘hope’ that the devices will continue to work well. That would be ‘utopia’… the reality is you need to proactively manage the life cycle of your IT devices and that’s where we can support you at 3 Step IT.

Want to learn more? Get in touch today.  

IT leasing is on the rise, leaping 32% in June alone. Clearly many organisations are welcoming more flexible methods of financing their technology than the traditional bulk cash outlay on new equipment every few years.

What many businesses, schools, colleges, universities and public bodies don’t realise is that they can actually generate a significant cash injection when they sell their existing assets to a third party and lease them back for a low monthly rental. You don’t need to wait until you need new IT to benefit from leasing.

Sale and Leaseback

If you need a fast injection of cash into your organisation, you have a couple of options. You could secure a loan using your assets as collateral. This practice is on the rise, with asset-based finance rising by £370m over the past year.

Or you could sell your IT assets for a lump sum, then lease them back for monthly rental. Just like a loan you get a lump sum of money for your business and a new monthly outgoing, but rather than an interest payment it’s just a lease payment on the assets.

Unlike getting a loan against your assets, which may come with some constraints, the sale-and-leaseback approach doesn’t restrict how you spend the cash; you can do what you like with it – hire new staff, use it to develop your business in some way or just return it to your shareholders.

Another benefit is that you won’t need to train staff to use new equipment – they will keep the same IT they always had, the only thing that will change is the way you finance and manage the assets.

Why Lease?

In comparison to leasing, using valuable cash to purchase IT outright may not be the best way to budget your IT spend. A standard monthly rental is generally much easier to budget for than irregular, significant outlays of cash for new equipment, especially considering the standard recommendation is to replace hardware after 3-4 years.

All IT degrades over time, meaning its value decreases after purchase. User experience is also affected; as IT ages and starts to underperform, end user productivity goes down and maintenance costs go up. For schools this can have a detrimental impact on learning, and for businesses it can eat into billable hours and staff productivity. Leasing your IT equipment will give you a regular refresh cycle, which ensures your IT is always up to date.

IT leasing is becoming increasingly common as organisations realise the many benefits of having access to flexible finance. This trend reflects the wider move towards companies wishing to consume their technology ‘as a service’; that is to say, within a package alongside hassle-free management, to keep maintenance costs as low as possible.

Ready for a cash injection? It’s time to let go of your old IT

3 Step IT will buy your assets and lease them back to you for a monthly rental, giving you an initial injection of cash then an affordable, flexible way to access and maintain your IT estate. Get in touch – we’d love to discuss a more effective way of financing your IT.

Sustainability is no longer a burden or a PR term. Sustainability is an essential part of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and a key area of growth for companies.

Writing for the Financial Times, head of sustainable investing at Hermes Investment Management, Andrew Parry, explained that sustainability and returns go hand in hand. He added: “The growth in sustainable investing has accelerated in recent years, particularly in Europe, as investors begin to realise that sustainability can generate attractive growth rates and certainly more resilient business franchises.”

Parry believes the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are the “beta of future growth” and shouldn’t be seen as a burden.

The UN SDGs were agreed in 2015, with each of the 17 goals having specific targets to achieve over the next 15 years. The goals aim to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all. They include: zero hunger; affordable and clean energy; decent work and economic growth; industry, innovation, and infrastructure; sustainable cities and communities; responsible consumption and production; and climate action.

These goals aim to provide solutions for unmet needs in global society. According to estimates from the UN, an additional $3tn of capital will need to be raised every year to meet the targets by 2030.

Businesses Shouldn’t view sustainability as an unnecessary cost

Parry notes that innovative companies addressing social or environmental deficits view the figure as an exciting growth opportunity, and this mindset should be adopted by all.

Not only can a sustainable approach help the environment, but it can also help businesses and economies. In China, it is estimated that pollution reduces total GDP by 9%, and a comparable figure is also applicable for India.

While Parry was met with initial cynicism when planning to hold a talk on sustainability at a conference in Singapore last year, his talk turned out to be one of the most popular sessions from the two-day event. So, it is clear that people want to listen to and engage with sustainable practices and the impact it can have on business growth.

3 Step IT Comment

Technology is advancing at an incredible rate, and it is helping to make companies from all industries and of all sizes to become more productive and competitive.

However, with technology cycles becoming ever shorter, it’s important that businesses employ a refresh strategy that has sustainability at the heart of it.

At 3 Step IT we’re obsessive that efficiency and value work hand in hand with sustainable solutions, so it’s great that these thoughts have been echoed by Andrew Parry.

Working with our customers, we have been able to re-use 98% of IT equipment that is returned to us. We data erase the equipment and give it a second life, pushing it back in to the economy.

Sustainability is a win/win for everyone

  • Businesses can refresh technology in a way that showcases their commitment to CSR
  • There is less e-waste, which means reduced impact on the environment
  • As a society – The equipment is typically sold into the education sector, giving them access to affordable technology

This approach is very much ‘Circular’ and it allows businesses to use our IT lifecycle services to ‘access’ technology, rather than own, which leads to greater profitability and sustainability. Ultimately the business ‘accesses’ the technology for the optimum time before it starts to hinder on performance and consequently competitiveness.

It’s a revolutionary shift from ‘Make-Take-Dispose’ to ‘Make-Take-Reuse-Recycle’. We work with over 3000 customers, who have made this shift and are enjoying the benefits.

If you want a sustainable IT solution, speak to us and we can show you a demo of how we make all of this a reality.

Managing your IT estate – from procurement to disposal – can be one of the biggest drains on your budget.

Technology has worked its way into the most important processes in your company, influencing everything from your staff’s productivity to the smooth running of business operations.

As such an integral part of your organisation, you cannot afford to skimp on your IT provision, but managing and funding regular refreshes requires significant investment of time and money.

Which IT problems are hampering your company?

We are an IT services company that offers customers a completely new way to acquire and manage IT equipment.

We define our IT lifecycle management services in three simple steps. Some of our clients use all of our services; others need help in just one or two steps.

Step 1.  Funding IT acquisition

Many of our customers prefer to fund the acquisition of new IT through manageable regular payments rather than using cash to fund a capital purchase. Monthly fees don’t eat into your working capital, which can instead be used for investment in other areas of the business.

Here’s how we help:

  • We provide lease finance to fund IT purchases. We promote leasing as we believe leasing, when provided properly, drives the ability to manage a regular refresh policy. This is because the end of the lease acts as the decision point to decide whether to refresh your IT or not.
  • Once the residual value of equipment returned at the end of the lease is taken into consideration, leasing can work out cheaper than a cash purchase.
  • Unlikely many lease finance providers, we’re completely transparent about our charges. We call our approach ‘ethical leasing’.
  • We take care of all of the admin for you. We manage all the supplier invoices, consolidating them on to a single quarterly lease start date.
  • You can enjoy peace of mind knowing that your staff are able to access up to date IT, which will minimise future maintenance costs. You’ll also be able to accurately budget for future upgrades as you replace aging equipment or grow your headcount.

Step 2.  Help manage your assets

Many companies struggle to keep track of their hardware and software resources. New hardware is bought as and when it’s needed – sometimes without going through the IT department; old equipment isn’t ‘retired’ unless it breaks. Without a comprehensive and up to date asset register it becomes impossible to know when equipment should be upgraded to maintain optimum performance and minimise maintenance costs. Keeping track of software licenses can be even more difficult than hardware. Many businesses don’t know when licenses are due for renewal and may be paying unnecessarily for licenses that no one uses.

We will manage the end-to-end lifecycle of your IT, helping to:

  • Management of supplier invoices
  • Create an asset register for both hardware and software, ensuring you know exactly what you’ve got, and when it needs to be refreshed. You’ll have access to our online ‘auto discovery’ asset management tool, enabling you to generate reports in minutes.
  • Automatically update and dynamically track the asset register with new hardware and software purchases
  • Plan regular refreshes of your IT estate, ensuring that we optimise the lifecycle for performance and cost

Step 3.  Disposal and replacement

Disposing of old, unused IT equipment is a significant problem for a growing number of companies. You need to have processes in place to ensure that data is completely wiped (simply reformatting the disk is not enough!), and of course comply with environmental regulations. Many third parties that offer these services want to charge for them.

We will:

  • Value your old IT assets and remove them from your site, usually free of charge
  • If there is residual value in the equipment, we’ll pay you
  • Securely wipe the data from all of your storage devices
  • Provide you with an erasure report and certificate for each asset for peace of mind
  • Refurbish and whenever possible offer your old equipment for re-sale – often to schools and colleges. This is in keeping with our commitment to the principles of the circular economy.
  • If there is no useable life left in the hardware we will dispose of it according to the WEEE Directive
  • Discuss end-of-lease options to replace old equipment with the latest kit.

Get in touch to learn more today.

Navigating what can appear to be a minefield of IT leasing options isn’t always easy, but knowing the right questions to ask will help you make better decisions when it comes to choosing a leasing partner– based on overall value, not just cost alone. Asking the right questions when evaluating lease options can save you time and money in the long term.

Our top 8 questions to ask are:

1. How much will the capital cost and what is the interest rate? This will help you to see the bigger picture and evaluate exactly how much you are spending and enable you to make comparisons with alternative options.

2. Is there a residual value included in the lease and if so what is the amount? Knowing any residual value will enable you to validate the interest rate and assess if the assumed residual value is set at a realistic level.

3. What is the planned life for the assets? Agreeing from the outset how long you plan to keep your assets will help determine the correct lease term and establish whether you are likely to be paying any extension rentals.

4. What is your past history of refreshing your IT? When evaluating a lease, it is important to look at whether you have previously been able to return your assets or refresh them at the end of the primary lease period, or if you have extended the life of the assets for an additional period. Most organisations state that they will return their assets at the end of a lease but are generally only able to return up to 80% of assets at the end of the primary lease period. It is important to know this in order to make a proper full-life-cost evaluation.

5. Does your leasing provider give you a process and system to help you manage your assets and notify you when each asset has reached the end of its life? Without reliable systems and processes, it is difficult to determine realistic end-of-life dates for IT equipment. Integrating asset management into your lease agreement will enable you to track and monitor equipment and will help you manage the replacement of equipment. An integrated process and management tool can save you time and money and provide valuable information when it comes to end-of life disposal and replacement. It can also ensure assets with residual or re-sale values are found so that they can be sold or replaced in a timely manner.

6. What happens at the end of the life of the asset or the lease; do you have to pay any end-of-lease charges or costs? It is wise to have a frank discussion before you sign the lease agreement. You should have a clear view as to whether you want to return the assets at the end of the lease and whether the lease provider genuinely wants the assets back. Ask the lease provider to explain the basis on which they set residual values. Is it a portfolio approach, whereby they only expect a certain percentage to be returned, or do they set residual values based on the actual equipment’s likely future value. Do your objectives match your lessors?

7. How do you dispose of IT equipment and deal with data and environmental issues? Companies can find themselves in hot water if they don’t comply with environmental regulations when disposing of IT equipment. There are also legal implications around data security when disposing of old machines. A good IT leasing partner will be able to help with environmentally safe and secure disposal, which will save you time and protect your organisation from reputational or legal risks. The logistics and disposal should be at no cost to you.

8. If you keep the assets, what are the costs? If you do choose to keep the leased assets at the end of the agreed lease period, costs might include lease extension charges. Your leasing provider should tell you in advance what these charges would be. It is prudent to talk about this possibility at the outset – before you sign any agreements. As the saying goes, “forewarned is forearmed”. Only by considering the whole picture can you fully evaluate what is the best way to acquire your IT equipment. You can put yourself in the driving seat by asking the right questions.

Speak to one of our experts to learn more about our market-leading Technology Lifecycle Management solution.

Why is technology so important to a prosperous future?

Businesses that fail to adopt new technologies risk getting left behind. The best businesses ebb and flow with technology, immersing it into every part of their organizations.

The advancement of technology is mesmerising, and it only seems to be speeding up. Smart businesses recognise they need to adopt new technologies to compete, leading to a proliferation of equipment.

As a society, we only have access to a finite amount of resources, and to manufacture just one desktop computer and monitor takes roughly 530lb (240kg) of fossil fuel, 48lb (21.8kg) of chemicals, and 1.5 tonnes of water. Despite this resource-hungry process, the United Nations estimates that we discard 20-50 million metric tonnes of e-waste every year!

While there is no doubt that more needs to be done to recycle IT hardware responsibly, it’s also vital that we extract as much value as possible before sending equipment to its grave. 3 Step IT is a firm believer that one man’s trash is another man’s gold.

98% of devices collected from 3 Step IT customers in 2017 were rehomed, achieving responsible environmental practices. In addition, data security best practices were achieved with Blancco Data Eraser solutions.

Customers of 3 Step IT and Blancco can embrace new technologies quickly and easily, while retaining peace of mind that their data is protected.

How do bancco and 3 Step IT work together?

3 Step IT and Blancco were both founded in the year of 1997. That year, the companies built a partnership to securely erase IT assets at end-of-life.

The combination of 3 Step IT’s lifecycle management solution and Blancco’s data erasure solution enables businesses to succeed in a Circular Economy—even before the term was coined and popularised.

What is the circular economy, and how do we make it a reality?

Traditionally, IT equipment goes through three lifecycle stages: Make – Take – Dispose; however, this isn’t a sustainable option, both economically and environmentally. 3 Step IT reimagined this process and developed a circular solution comprised of four lifecycle steps: Make – Take – Reuse – Recycle.

3 Step IT makes it easy for businesses to refresh their technology; simply, securely, cost effectively and in a socially-responsible manner. They also remove the admin burden of procuring new IT and managing that IT throughout the entire life cycle.

We’re proud of our 20-year relationship with Blancco. Together we are making the Circular Economy ‘real’ by delivering tangible benefits for customers and society. Our combined win/win proposition is a testament to the efforts we have made this together, to help businesses embrace technology in a sustainable way while also achieving data protection best practices.

– Jason Skidmore, UK Managing Director

Coinciding with the rapid development of technology has been the proliferation of data. Organizations now have so much data that they’re having trouble managing and storing it all. At the same time, all companies must demonstrate customer data protection and comply with regulations regarding this data.

Blancco helps businesses improve their data hygiene, data security and data sanitization practices with secure, certified data erasure solutions across the entire data lifecycle—whether data is active or has reached end-of-life. In addition, Blancco’s tamper- proof audit trail that makes safeguarding data a simpler process.

Blancco is happy to be part of making the Circular Economy a reality. For two decades, we’ve been working with 3 Step IT to make responsible, secure IT asset recycling and resale possible. As technology continues to evolve, so will our partnership and our solutions.

– Richard Stiennon, CSO, Blancco

Together, 3 Step IT and Blannco’s solutions allow businesses to thrive in a Circular Economy. Get in touch to find out how you can make the Circular Economy work for your business.

  1. Do ask for a full breakdown of all the elements of any offering, including the actual interest rate, other fees and payments, plus extension rentals should you choose to keep the equipment beyond the primary term
  2. Do question potential providers about the returns process and the tools and support they offer to facilitate it
  3. Do ask for details about available asset management tools and how they are implemented
  4. Do ask about customer service: What kind of support does the lessor provide? Do they ensure that the asset management register (if available) is updated and assist you with returning assets by the agreed date? What kind of competencies and skills do the customer service staff have?
  5. Do think carefully about what you’re likely to do with equipment at the end of the primary lease
  6. Don’t make your decision based purely on the monthly charge figure
  7. Don’t be fooled by unrealistic residual values
  8. Don’t dismiss the potential challenges of tracking and managing leased assets, even in small numbers
  9. Don’t forget the value of freedom and flexibility, and that your needs can change quickly. Will you have any freedom in the future to choose exactly the devices you want? And what are the potential impacts on your business of a sudden change of brand or supplier on the lessors side?

Learn more about how we can help you acquire the assets you need, when you need them.

It’s good to talk – especially about IT investment decisions. Here are five reasons why CFOs and CIOs should share more quality time together.

1. Better Collaboration between CFOs and CIOs leads to better decisions

IT purchases account for one of the most significant capital investments most companies will make – adding up to one-third of all capital expenditures for many organisations.

A common problem in many organisations is that finance and IT departments often look at IT assets in different ways, which can lead to different expectations when it comes to renewing equipment. For example, IT departments fund some laptops on a three-year lease expecting to replace them after 36 months – whereas finance are more likely to try and get more out of the IT by ‘sweating’ the assets.

While this can reduce capital expenditure, IT departments know that operational expenditure will likely increase, as older equipment needs greater maintenance. Furthermore, poor equipment can result in low staff morale, which can impact productivity.

This disparity in perspective and expectations between departments is very common and can result in IT decisions being made by finance teams without consulting IT teams – which can sometimes mean companies don’t get the IT provision they really need.

If you are not involved in the decision-making process from the outset – through good collaboration with your IT colleagues – there’s a real danger that decisions will be made based on disjointed information, which could lead to the wrong IT solutions being implemented with potentially costly consequences.

2. IT Asset Registers

In 2013 we undertook some independent research, which involved a survey of 100 IT and finance directors. One of our key findings was that many companies still use manual processes to manage their assets. One organisation could only account for 20% of its IT assets because it depended on staff to update spread sheets when it purchased new equipment.

Manual processes leave significant room for error, either through duplicating information, or missing assets entirely. What’s more, we found that finance and IT teams had different ways of recording assets, so asset registers often differ between departments. Again, when the finance view of IT assets doesn’t agree with the IT view of assets there is scope for some serious accounting issues to arise.

Make sure you discuss asset management with your IT colleagues. Agree how you will record your IT assets and look into the benefits of using automated asset tracking tools to save time and improve accuracy.

3. Pay-as-you-go Models: LEasing and Managed Services

Increasingly, organisations are looking for ways to spread their investment costs over the lifetime of the assets. Both IT leasing arrangements and the trend towards managed services enable this approach.

Our research showed that IT teams have a more thorough understanding of the ins and outs of IT leasing than their financial colleagues. However, in the majority of cases, it’s the finance team that have final say on how the purchase is funded. In other words, a finance community where 64% state they have limited, or no awareness of IT leasing makes the vast majority (71%) of purchase decisions. In contrast, 58% of their IT counterparts stated that they were ‘very familiar’ with the concept of IT Leasing. The discrepancy in knowledge between finance and IT implies that better collaboration could lead to more informed decisions when it comes to funding IT investment.

Many organisations are taking advantage of the benefits that managed services bring. This approach also has the potential to change purchasing models from capital to opex, enabling you to pay for IT equipment over its lifecycle rather than as one single up-front payment. This frees up capital for other strategic investment, which can facilitate growth. The move towards managed services is a technical decision that can only be made alongside the business case, so to take advantage of this solution you will need to understand the needs of your IT colleagues and other stakeholders and agree a strategy, as it changes not only how your IT services are paid for, but also how they are consumed.

4.  Understand your IT counterparts’ Priorities – so you can plan budgets

According to The Harvey Nash CIO Survey, as confidence returns to the UK economy, and after five years of cost cutting, two-thirds of IT leaders are talking about prioritising projects that make money for their business. This indicates that more companies are focusing on investment in IT for growth rather than to save money. What’s more, according to the survey, CIOs are more optimistic that their IT budgets will continue to grow, than at any time since 2005, when the survey began, with some 44% expecting more budget increases next year. Will you be able to manage budgets to make this happen?

5. Learn who your IT counterparts are talking to – understand the bigger picture

The survey also found that CIOs participation on the board of directors has increased significantly since the start of the recession with many more IT leaders in a position to better influence other business leaders.

There is another twist – increased attention on the importance of digital marketing has seen marketing directors begin to influence IT decisions. According to the survey 40% of CIOs said the marketing department is now responsible for digital technology, up 7% from 2013, whilst at the same time only 10% of CIOs said IT is responsible for digital, down 2% from last year. Changing times indeed.

Joining your IT and marketing counterparts will ensure that better-informed decisions are made regarding your IT investment, because all of the major stakeholders are involved in the discussion from the outset.