Jan 10 2024

Automation Is Helping Government Cut Costs

Optimized IT spending sets agencies up to thrive when funding is scarce.

Agencies want to know they’re getting maximum returns on their digital initiatives because IT spending represents a major portion of their budgets.

Technology helps agencies save money in addition to boosting efficiencies these days.

Strategic investments help agencies maximize their productivity when funding is readily available, and when it’s not, optimized spending can mean the difference between mission success and failure.

“The key here is value-based budgeting,” says James Watczak, a finance and technology business consultant with CDW. “Transparency involving costs, business impacts and usage is needed so IT budgets can be allocated to generate the greatest return.”

EXPLORE: Read CDW’s white paper “How IT Cost Optimization Strategies Promote Business Value.”

According to a 2023 report from Snow Software, a third of IT leaders surveyed stated that reducing IT costs was among their top IT priorities. Further, 26 percent cited delivering digital transformation and adopting new technologies to improve day-to-day operations among their priorities.

As agencies explore these investments, many are looking for ways to implement automated solutions. These tools can help agencies optimize their costs by speeding development, improving accuracy and reducing the burden on IT workers.

How Automation Improves Agility and Reduces Complexity

Agencies have numerous ways to improve their cost optimization efforts. Automated solutions offer powerful tools to drive these initiatives. For example, automated tools can enable IT teams to orchestrate workloads across an agency’s cloud environment, more efficiently allocating resources. Automating these processes reduces the manual effort involved in provisioning and managing complex cloud and hybrid IT environments.

One key benefit many agencies pursue as they explore automated solutions is enhanced business agility. For example, by moving workloads to and from the cloud automatically, an agency can deliver services more quickly to customers.

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“Automating all those tasks and spinning up resources in the cloud, migrating them to another cloud, migrating them on-premises, improves your agility,” says Neil Graver, executive technology strategist with CDW. “The flexibility that provides can lower your risk and provide a great experience for customers.”

Many agencies are taking advantage of automation to improve their DevOps processes. By implementing tools that apply automation to development processes, these agencies can speed up progress and reduce errors. Automation also enables them to establish workflows for continuous improvement and continuous delivery of applications, a key objective for DevOps.

“As companies get more sophisticated with their automation, they’re leveraging a robust CI/CD pipeline,” says David Wharton, chief architect for the Amazon Web Services cloud platform with CDW. “Automation and DevOps provide the ability to rinse and repeat your successes and also to discard what doesn't work.” 

Why Agencies Should Keep Moving Forward with Automation

Ultimately, automated tools can provide a number of cost optimization benefits for agencies, but to realize these benefits they need to strategize their deployments and implement them effectively. It’s important to understand that cost optimization is an ongoing process of evaluation, strategy and improvement.

By approaching their cost optimization initiatives strategically, agencies can realize more significant benefits, which can bring them close to achieving their short-term and long-term business goals. The focus should go beyond short-term actions aimed at adapting to current conditions and instead establish continuous efforts to maximize business value.

“Cost optimization is not just a number on a spreadsheet, but rather it’s a real process to analyze and understand the total cost of operations behind a decision where the benefit is really realized,” Graver says. “It’s an ongoing process to look at the investments that have been made and calculate the return on investment.”

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