What Your IT Department Isn’t Telling You

IT departments are under intense pressure to cut costs. IT infrastructure and maintenance is one of the biggest expenses any business will face, but cutting costs may not always be in the best interests of the IT department. After all, cutting costs often make IT jobs harder and more stressful. According to research giant Gartner, there are several key actions that a business can undertake to reduce IT costs by 25% or more.

  1. Consolidate

One of the best ways to reduce IT spending is to consolidate data processing and storage. Even though distributed computing has been a major trend in the past, Gartner believes that data centers will continue to rise in importance as consolidation helps to deliver cost containment by reducing hardware growth.

  1. Virtualization

Servers are relatively inefficient in most situations, running at an average load of just 15%. Virtualization software can boost this value to closer to 60%, which means that businesses can get more work out of fewer servers. Reducing servers by four-fold also reduces energy costs.

Computer network diagram.

  1. Reduce Energy Needs

IT infrastructure is an energy hog. According to some estimates, the average iPhone uses more energy in a year than the average refrigerator due to data center energy costs. Reducing server use and cooling requirements are the easy ways to reduce IT energy needs.

  1. Reduce Storage Growth

When computing, network, and storage costs are taken into consideration, it is storage that is growing at the fastest pace. Storage growth is so brisk, in fact, that it has outpaced cost declines. Controlling storage through virtualization, automated tiering, and other strategies is a must.

  1. Control IT Support

Support accounts for 8% of all IT spending. The easiest way to reduce costs in this area is to ensure that support calls go to the lowest tier that can resolve them. Letting calls unnecessarily reach a higher tier of support means paying too much to resolve a problem. Streamline IT costs by implementing ITIL.

  1. Optimize Multi-sourcing

The most strategic decision an IT leader has to make is in regard to sourcing. It is important to remember that separate sourcing decisions can be made for any IT component. Focus should be on controlling mission critical components, capitalizing on the strengths of IT staff, and minimizing the number of vendors involved in order to reduce complexity.

An Optimal Solution

There is no one-size-fits-all solution for IT cost containment, but reducing IT spending can improve a company’s bottom line. Every company has different needs and every IT department has different strengths. The most critical factor to keep in mind regarding IT, however, is that there are multiple approaches to any problem. IT leaders should feel empowered (if not overwhelmed) by the sheer number of choices available to them.

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