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    It’s no secret that uncertain financial times are upon us. 

    And you know what that means: slowed spending and slashed budgets across organizations.

    Cybersecurity roles have historically remained resilient amid economic uncertainty. But this downturn is a bit different. Resources, including headcount, are scarce for IT and cybersecurity teams. According to ISC2, 92% of cybersecurity professionals report skills gaps at their organization. Leaders must justify every dollar spent and prove ROI — placing a big focus on identifying cost inefficiencies.

    Keep reading to learn three common types of IT and security cost inefficiencies you should look out for, plus how to resolve them.

    IT cost optimization: It starts with collaboration

    Discovering cost inefficiencies is a simple way for teams to save money and shift unrealized spend to better use. By looking closely at cost inefficiencies, you can re-evaluate: 

    • What you already have 
    • Where you can automate
    • Whether it makes sense to keep the tools you’ve had for years
    • Where duplication is

    A critical component of identifying cost inefficiencies is collaboration. This means working with stakeholders across the business to understand their priorities. You’ll want to determine whether the tools your organization has purchased are actually doing the job required of them — or if they’re leading to unnecessary costs.

    Three common cost inefficiencies

    Here are three common cost inefficiencies to keep in mind:

    1. Uncovering inefficiencies from untapped infrastructure

    One way to recover budget is by finding tools that aren’t being used at all. For example, licensing is one area with a lot of potential for cost inefficiencies. According to a survey conducted by Nexthink Insights, unused software licenses cost IT teams about $45M per month. Teams can recover budget by finding tools that aren’t being used at all or examining the software licenses that go unused after an employee leaves the company and the position isn’t backfilled.

    2. Discovering inefficiencies from forgotten infrastructure

    If you don’t know what’s being used, then you’re potentially spending money on infrastructure that’s no longer relevant. 

    Take virtual machines (VMs), for example. These are so easy to spin up that it’s not unrealistic or unreasonable for an organization to have hundreds of thousands of VM instances. The thing is, many remain up and running long after their intended use is no longer relevant.

    3. Identifying inefficiencies in overlapping infrastructure

    Organizations buy a variety of tools for all sorts of reasons. Inevitably, some of those tools are going to have overlapping features or functionality. (And this is definitely true if teams are working in silos or aren’t regularly talking with each other.) On the flip side, you can also seek out tools that have multiple uses for different areas of the business to help squeeze more value out of your investment. 

    How to resolve cost inefficiencies

    Once you’ve identified unrealized spend, you can start to address it. Collaborate with stakeholders to:

    1. Establish an ongoing process to evaluate tools.
    2. Understand the context and justification for tools.
    3. Analyze how an individual tool is being used.
    4. Automate where you can and think about soft and hard costs.

    We dive deeper into how to find cost inefficiencies and the ROI of IT cost optimization in our expert guide.

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