Nov 21 2023

How Automation Delivers Economic Advantages

By optimizing their IT spending, state and local agencies can set themselves up to survive and thrive during tough times.

IT spending represents a significant part of the budget for many government agencies. Technology is no longer just a tool for driving efficiency; rather, it can help state and local agencies create value and improve citizen services. As digital initiatives take off across industries, public officials want to know that they’re getting the highest return on their investments.

In periods of growth, strategic investments can help agencies maximize their productivity and efficiency. In tougher times, optimized spending can spell the difference between survival 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.”

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 organizations optimize their costs by speeding time to market, improving accuracy and reducing the burden on government IT workers.

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How Automation Improves Agility and Reduces Complexity

State and local 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 government IT teams to orchestrate workloads across an organization’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 organizations 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 citizens.

“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 governments are taking advantage of automation to improve their DevOps processes. By implementing tools that apply automation to development processes, these organizations 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 agencies get more sophisticated with their automation, they’re leveraging a robust CI/CD pipeline,” says David Wharton, chief architect for AWS cloud platform with CDW. “Automation and DevOps provide the ability to rinse and repeat your successes and also to discard what doesn't work.”

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

Why Governments Should Keep Moving Forward with Automation

Ultimately, automated tools can provide several cost optimization benefits for governments, but to realize these benefits, state and local agencies 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, government 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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