Even though I spend much of my day job working with technology and service providers to differentiate and sell their solutions, I certainly respect those who sit across the other side of the table in software and consulting deals (heck, I've been in their shoes, as well). Vinnie Mirchandani, who writes a blog that I absolutely love to read, Deal Architect, is one of these characters. He's the CIOs best friend, if you will. In other words, Vinnie's job is to hammer vendors, consultants, and BPO shops down in the throws of negotiation, getting those extra margin points out after -- or during -- a strategic sourcing process. He is truly a Spend Management category expert -- a truly focused negotiator that can make billion dollar vendors and firms squirm. Because of this, I enjoyed his recent post on how IT organizations can wring double-digit savings out of their budget without compromising on innovation by targeting "empty calories". What are some of Vinnie's recommendations? He suggests looking at "software vendor maintenance contracts", "telecom shelf-ware -- unused phone, T1, etc. lines" and older outsourcing arrangements, among other areas. Check his full-post out for yourself, and see how reducing IT costs and delighting the CFO does not imply sacrificing technology innovation.