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11. Prepare the Project Portfolio

Akin to getting the oven pre-heated and greasing the cooking pans, the reassessment of IT projects can help your customers kill zombie projects that aren’t going anywhere and draining off precious resources. It may be also a good time to revisit abandoned projects that may make sense now and help save money in 2011.

22. Trim Compliance Reporting

Compliance is like a vendor’s secret password to get into the customer’s budgetary lockbox. But its also introducing a lot of fat to the budget. Add value to your proposition by offering grounded advice on how to reexamine spending on compliance and reporting to cut down on that ‘compliance tax’ your customers are paying.

33. Add Automated Password Management

An extremely tactical step in the cost cutting recipe, the automation of password management can help drastically diminish the burden on help desk personnel and improve security to boot.

44. Pour On Data Deduplication

Through the chaos of users’ day-to-day operations and IT’s disaster recovery backup efforts, data and documents have a nasty habit of multiplying carbon-copy style within the storage and backup infrastructure. Help customers cut storage hardware and management costs through the use of data deduplication technology.

55. Whisk in WAN Optimization

The greater use of collaboration tools such as video conferencing is increasing the burdens of bandwidth costs. Effective use of WAN optimization can help cut down bandwidth from anywhere between one and three fold of on unoptimized network.

66. Mix Teleworkers Into The Batter

The creative use of telework cannot only cut cost and promote efficiency, it can also be a big morale booster in a time of staff reductions and payroll freezes. In some extreme cases, full-time telecommuting can reap serious savings through reduction in real estate and facilities operations costs.

77. Beat With Open Source Management Tools

It doesn’t have to cost a bundle to rein in systems management costs through automation. There are loads of open source management tools out there free for the taking. This is a big opportunity for the channel who can bundle services with these tools for optimal margins.

88. Stir in License Management

Many executives may not know it, but unnecessary software licenses are a big source of dead weight on a lot of IT department budgets. Channel providers can help customers sift through the unused licenses to maximize software budgets.

99. Add a Pinch of Vendor Management

Help your customers examine vendor contracts to see how much the department is locked in for and then see how much can be cut from the services, leases and products which aren’t adding value. This kind of value-add may diminish your immediate return but help you reap long term dividends.

1010. Bake in Standardization Frameworks

Following practices laid out by standards frameworks such as ITIL are a fantastic way to improve process efficiency. If the budget precludes strict adherence to standards, at least take internal stock of practices and find a few efficiency measurements and apply those as rulers to the different IT groups.