What are the c-levels being tasked with (by their budgets)? The idea of spending some extra money to make the user/client experience better or make back office operations easier is gone. We’re looking for lean, mean, and low costing/operational infrastructures. To achieve that it’s a custom tailored system that need to be produce. In the enterprise technology or management information systems world of large monthly reoccurring costs, inefficiency during design means inefficiency while paying the bills.
There are many data room services where you can always look into many aspects of budget and how to handle office clients in order to get the job done.
The idea of spending $2.5mm now, to save $5mm in 5 years is no more. It is now: maintain or increase current performance by spending $1mm to save $1.5mm in 12 months.
Cash, which to a CIO right now translates into “hard returns due to cutting costs”, is King.
So what are the popular ways companies are becoming lean and mean in regards to their IT systems? Automate as much as possible, find technologies amp; services that will truly cut costs, and (out)source.
Appropriately designing the business best practices around these topics alone will set you far off into the right direction of being lean and mean. However each one can be a large task to explore let alone implement. Let’s dive in just a little deeper.
Automating things like reporting can save huge. Consider business intelligence applications from Business Objects or Oracle. If you’re using a data-warehouse check out BI in-depth and do an ROI analysis with a vendor.
Most of the time when data warehousing is involved there is a labor intensive best practice behind it. That best practice is what needs to be addressed. What is the end result you’re looking for and what is the best way to go about getting it. Don’t let existing inefficient systems stand in your way just yet. Sometime they can be absorbed into the new designs and or exchanged. Even service/maintenance contracts. Let the vendor tell you this, don’t assume “well I already have this system and it will cost me too much to upgrade”. As you know technology evolves ever so faster every day, the vendors have business models to accommodate the clients that are on top of their game. You just have to ask them to engage.
Another large chuck of change can come from repositioning the hardware configuration that you’re using and perhaps even IT consolidation. Get an outside perspective on your infrastructure. It’s not expensive to do this. See what’s new out there. In fact, a lot of companies offer assessment services for low costs or even free. These can be very helpful and included strategies such as
Storage Reduction -Reducing the physical footprint of the your logical data set through de-duplication and compression
Data Reassignment -Allow you to acquire Tier 1 storage capacity at Tier 2 storage prices by relocating data to appropriate tier
Email e-Discovery -Reduces legal exposure, improve email systems and storage efficiencies and allows for e-Discovery
Server Virtualization -reduce hardware costs, data center space, power, cooling and management complexity; increase server utilization and ease provisioning
Outsourcing either talent (to be brought in house) or actually incorporating co-location companies with managed services into your infrastructure can have it’s benefits.
Bringing in talent from staff augmentation companies can get employees off your books as well as insurance and payroll costs off your P L.; It’s a viable option for most companies out there. Engage a value added reseller (VAR) to walk through options with you. Their ability to deliver depends on the depth of their talent pool.
Co-location companies will also host your entire infrastructure at thier site and most of the time manage it too.It frees up what would be data center real estate and employee overhead. It’s a monthly cost and can vary widely depending on what hardware and services you need managed. Of course this is difficult for certain industries, especially the finance and health care industries, which just so happen to be my forte in enterprise IT.
Hosting infrastructures at co-location facilities is a big project to undertake for existing companies with in-house data centers. However the numbers can really make sense sometimes. My suggestion is that if you’re setting up a new infrastructure that will most likely be under $50,000 total – co-locating should be an option. Also, if you have an existing infrastructure that has a lot of out dated machines as well as excessive personnel managing it, then you should look at a co-location setup too.
Strategies surrounding energy consumption are ever more popular now too. The energy market has been deregulated in a lot of areas. You can negotiate what you pay these days and sometimes going through a 3rd party can benefit you. Especially if you start thinking “go green” in general. Now why in the world would you do that….
pssst, tax credits…. cha ching!