How to Downsize an IT Department with Minimal Damage

by | Mar 21, 2023 | Blog

What is the best way to downsize an IT department with minimal damage?

When you’re looking at how to downsize an IT department with minimal damage, there’s several factors to consider. IT services are a crucial part of any company, so ensuring you don’t miss anything is very important. First examine what type of services the team currently provides and which areas could be automated or outsourced. By streamlining processes and leveraging automation, companies may be able to reduce their IT department headcount without sacrificing quality of service. Telecommuting, job-sharing, or a 4-day workweek can also help cut costs while simultaneously increasing employee engagement and morale. Additionally, providing employees with retraining opportunities and generous severance packages can help minimize the disruption caused by downsizing the IT department.

What makes this approach so effective?

“You have to take into account both the economic benefits of downsizing, as well as the human costs,” says Tom. By automating certain processes and outsourcing non-essential services, companies can reduce their IT department headcount with minimal expense. “Work with your team to allow them the greatest work-life balance. Consider new measures like: telecommuting and retraining programs to allow remaining employees to continue to develop their skillsets, while generous severance packages help ensure that those who are laid off receive adequate compensation. Ultimately, this approach is designed to ensure that a company can downsize in an efficient and humane manner,” adds Tom.

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Who should be involved when planning to downsize an IT department?

“One thing that is paramount to success is including key stakeholders from both within and outside the organization. Executives from the IT department should always be consulted in order to gain an understanding of the services provided, as well as any potential gaps or redundancies,” says Tom. Additionally, external consultants can provide insight into best practices for streamlining processes and meeting compliance requirements. Lastly, human resources professionals should be included in the discussion in order to support employees throughout the transition process.

Are there any IT areas that should never be downsized?

While every IT department should evaluate their operations carefully in order to identify any potential areas for downsizing, there are some core IT functions that should never be neglected. “Maintenance and support of existing systems is essential for the smooth running of a company, and IT teams should always strive for maximum efficiency without sacrificing the quality of service,” says Tom. Outsourcing non-essential services such as website design can help reduce costs without eroding technological capabilities. “Never skimp on safety. Investing in the most robust data security measures your company can afford is essential in order to protect sensitive customer or employee information. The cost of cutting back on cybersecurity can be as much as your entire company.” says Tom.

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What’s the biggest mistake IT leaders make when downsizing?

“Failing to adequately communicate with their teams. It is important to be transparent about any changes to operations, and give employees the opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback. Layoffs create a huge amount of stress and uncertainty in the workplace, it is essential for leaders make sure resources are in place for those affected by these changes. Providing career transition or outplacement services, as well as offering personal counseling or other support as needed are key,” says Tom.

Wrapping up – How to Downsize an IT Department Safely

Downsizing your IT department can be a very important undertaking. Make the wrong decisions or cut corners and it could end up costing your company significant time and money. If you follow the advice in this article and maintain the critical areas of the IT department while outsourcing or better automating other areas, you can save your company time and even become more efficient while doing it.

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Tom Kirkham
CEO & Founder of Kirkham IronTech

Tom brings more than three decades of software design, network administration, and cybersecurity knowledge to organizations around the country. During his career, Tom has received multiple software design awards and founded other acclaimed technology businesses.

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