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2017 Maine Municipal Conference: How to Save Money in IT

Chris Claudio

At the beginning of May, I had the pleasure of speaking at the Maine Municipal Conference at the DoubleTree in South Portland about ‘Budgeting: How to Save Money in IT.’ I focused my presentation on the real budgeting restrictions that municipalities face and addressed the most crucial budgeting strategies to keep your municipality secure.

In today’s world, IT is a tactical asset and should be used to help drive budgets and define deliverables. While all of this sounds simple, I am consistently shocked at how many municipalities and organizations do not focus their IT spends around their own strategic business objectives and vision. Traditionally, municipalities have an immature or constrained budget.

Here are a few key elements to consider when trying to save money in IT:

  1. Establish IT Steering Committee – It’s imperative that your municipality create an IT Steering Committee that includes all stakeholders. This meeting should occur monthly and discuss your strategic IT plan and how to match this with your budget.
  2. Establish a Three-Year Budget Cycle – To ensure that your municipality has a clear vision and is staying on track it’s important to establish a three-year budget cycle that you review annually. This will allow your leadership team to review and evaluate contracts that may be costing you extra money – such as your broadband, phone and office suite license.
  3. Centralize your IT Budget – Rather than having separate budgets for town functions, public safety, GIS etc., it’s more effective to have a single place of budgeting and approval for the whole town. This allows your municipality to aggregate purchases for the best pricing and ensure you know how your money is being spent on IT and other expenses.

These are just a few things your municipality can do to save more money in IT. If you feel as though your town is not where it needs to be, then it’s time for a serious conversation with our experts.