Maximize Agility to Alleviate Budget Pressure

March 22, 2024 |  5 Key Initiatives, Budget
2 min

Hardware and software usage data can inform a wide range of decisions, pushing and pulling the budget levers strategically and efficiently to maximize positive impact. 

Today’s higher education Chief Information Officers (CIOs) are accustomed to facing budgetary volatility. Over time, this volatility often has a downward trend. Revenue dips have come in many forms: a pandemic, lagging enrollment and state-wide budget cuts. While tightening budgets are clearly a challenge, increases in funding resources can also wreak havoc when unpredicted. A rapid influx of funding may come too late to utilize or may lead to future budget pressure when the resource dries up.

“Predictability is crucial for effective planning and budgeting, and surprises can strain an institution or state system even in times of increased funding.”

Higher Ed’s Financial Roller Coaster (

While complete elimination of volatility may be unrealistic, understanding and addressing this challenge becomes paramount in mitigating its adverse effects.

Agile IT teams armed with the right data are in a unique position to alleviate budget pressure in lean times and efficiently utilize resources as soon as they become available.

How to Alleviate Budget Pressure

Agile IT teams can alleviate budget pressure by:

  • Spending wisely & defending budget proposals   
  • Freeing up needed funding for important projects   
  • Negotiating software contracts with confidence  
  • Providing critical data in ongoing grant / funding submittals 

The key to this agility is computer lab usage tracking software. 

Usage Data is the Key to Agility

Hardware and software usage data can inform a wide range of decisions, pushing and pulling the budget levers strategically and efficiently to maximize positive impact. 

Higher education CIOs use LabStats to:

  • Reduce software costs by right-sizing licenses to meet student demand
  • Reallocate computers to areas of high demand
  • Help students find available computers and software on campus
  • Streamline staff hours and scheduling
  • Analyze ROI on accessibility and technology resources
  • Share data-driven insights with diverse teams

Usage Data in Higher Education

Campus IT software asset management can also be key to getting buy-in from essential stakeholders. Angela Neria experienced this first-hand when she used LabStats data to back up a proposed reduction in computer labs to a group of deans at Pittsburg State University.

“I would say, how about I give you access and you run the numbers and see what you see. Being authentic and transparent helped so much with the buy-in.” 

Angela Neria, Pittsburg State University

Once the deans were on board, Angela and her committee were able to reduce and repurpose underutilized computer labs. The savings went straight back to the colleges for instructional purposes, including investing in specialty equipment, updating software packages or adding additional licenses. 

Over 3 years, the university estimated a savings between $700,000 and $900,000 by reducing computer labs on campus.

As Pittsburg State demonstrated, usage data not only facilitates buy-in from essential stakeholders, but also enables institutions to repurpose resources, invest in instructional purposes, and achieve substantial cost savings over time. 

Whether facing budget pressure due to unforeseen events or grappling with the unpredictability of increased funding, usage data is an invaluable resource for campus IT software asset management. Embracing a data-driven approach becomes imperative for CIOs navigating the financial roller coaster of higher education.

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Maximizing agility to alleviate budget pressure is just one of 5 key initiatives for higher ed IT decision makers. To discover other 2024 key initiatives, check out our ebook

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