Traditionally businesses have looked at IT as a burden on the bottom line, an unnecessary cost that does not improve profitability. But moving forward a change of mind-set is required, IT needs to be considered as an essential part of the business strategy process.
A quality agile IT infrastructure and operation will not only be cost effective and increase productivity, but ultimately will enhance business profitability.
The question shouldn’t be “how can we cut IT costs?”, but should rather be “what does our business need?”, “how can our IT infrastructure be optimised to best serve our business model?”.
Eleven point action plan your business should be undertaking right now
A good starting point for Infrastructure and Operations optimisation is to evaluate the true requirements of your business. In what areas — technology infrastructure, organisation or processes can your business effect a transformation that will produce results.
Rationalise, consolidate and standardisation. Most servers run at low usage levels reducing optimised efficiency, therefore from a cost point of view running more application on fewer servers is key. Standardise software, hardware and applications across the entire business, cuts maintenance overheads, reducing costs and increase collaborative effectiveness.
Consider virtualisation, this will increase server usage by an average of 400%, which means typically you can reduce servers on a 1 to 4 ratio. Reducing hardware footprint, reducing power consumption by as much as 50% and reducing cooling requirements.
Reduced power, air conditioning and increasing performance, following on from improvement processes two and three above, it is advisable to evaluate hardware age and where possible modernise hardware to the latest versions. This introduces multiple benefits by providing the latest generation of green power technology reducing consumption, new techniques in air cooling allowing hardware to run efficiently at higher temperatures (in some cases not requiring air cooling at all) and providing the latest CPUs, memory and drive technology, which will greatly improve system performance, coupled with virtualisation will bring enormous benefits to system management, cost and productivity.
It is no longer acceptable to look at infrastructure and operations as in house only, with the advent of Software as a Service (SaaS), which includes email, CRM, virtual desktops and virtual telephony, Platform as a Service (PaaS), which includes database, webservers and services or Infrastructure as a service (IaaS), which includes cloud servers, cloud storage, cloud networks and firewalls. Businesses need to consider or in fact should embrace Hybridisation, to generate the best cost / performance benefit ratio.
Reduction of storage capacity is a requirement of efficiency and optimisation, with the amount of stored data growing annually. For some businesses the approach is to just keep throwing more storage capacity at the problem; this is no longer a viable solution, although storage costs are reducing they are not moving as fast as the increase in data stored. All business would be wise to have strict management control of their data storage practices.
Optimisation of IT support is a key component to cost reduction and efficiency. Too often businesses have several layers of support personnel, this can be reduced by automation processes that allow more proactive management of support infrastructure, thus driving down support incidents. This creates a 2 fold benefit of reducing menial task requirements and increasing innovative processes. In many cases a combination of in-house and outsourced managed IT services will allow for a more productive IT operation.
Proactive management of hardware and licensing lifecycles, this is a good way to determine asset retention requirements and can produce cost reduction on maintenance contracts and license agreement, it also ensure license compliance.
Business Resiliency is also a key optimisation component, being fully aware of the how important your IT operations are to your business will focus risk management strategies, promoting improved security threat reduction and disaster recovery procedures and processes.
Measure benefits of IT by the success of your business and not by cost alone. Business driven IT where the IT operation is flexible and can adapt quickly to the current business needs adds real tangible value to the strategic success of your organisation. Employ a transparent IT cost identification procedure so that performance and effectiveness can be measured clearly against business performance and profitability.
The optimisation process should be fluid and consistent and should be reviewed regularly, always trying to find better innovative processes and trying to automate across the length and breadth of the company.
Deep South IT can offer your company full consultation services to streamline and optimise your IT Infrastructure and Operation, with ongoing IT support and strategic reviews.
Contact us now to organise an appointment which will ensure your business doesn’t fall behind with technology.
We look forward to working with you.
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