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You can reduce IT spending without killing operations — Here’s how

IT departments are often faced with demands to quickly lower spending and budgets while still keeping the lights on and top priorities progressing. This is generally a tough ask. Here are a few tips that could help you reduce IT spending without affecting operations.

Reduce IT spending: Migrate to open source

One of the most effective ways to reduce IT spending is to move a significant part of the system to open source. There is an entire range of open source tools and applications that are the equivalents of paid software.

This ranges from operating systems to databases. It is not that open source-based systems are any less reliable. A well-architected system built with applications based on open source demonstrates high reliability, flexibility, and scalability. The right way to do it:

  • Analyze open source alternatives for expensive paid software being used.
  • Come up with a comprehensive migration strategy for specific software.
  • Do a risk assessment for the migrations and proceed accordingly.

Choose virtualized servers

Server virtualization has a number of advantages that can reduce IT spending:

  • Costs are reduced.
  • Administration and management are streamlined.
  • Backups and failovers can be easily managed.

With the availability of cloud-based solutions, the question that automatically emerges in your brain is that why do you need to have many servers physically located inside the organization? By choosing to virtualize your server resources, you can achieve significantly reduced costs. In “Transformers III,” when Laserbeak was trying to kill Sam Witwicky, Sam escaped by running through a bank of servers. Sam would have probably escaped anyway, but the point is all those servers on station are not necessary. You should consider server virtualization and do not worry about Laserbeak, he was killed in Chicago a few weeks after he tried to killed Sam in DC. And he just happened to be trying to kill Sam again, but this is another topic.

Repurpose your resources

Sometimes, a bit of a thrifty approach to running operations can be beneficial and reduce IT spending. Consider the following ideas:

  • Using old desktops to create a Linux cluster.
  • Selling old machines on eBay or donating them.
  • Look at loading numbers and do internal reorganizations of staff.
  • Stick to older versions of operating systems until the time has come when they have outlived their purpose.

Aging technology need not be trashed or dismissed outright. For instance, right now. even though Windows 10 has made a big splash in the marketplace, it is reasonable to continue with Windows 7 or 8 for some more time. In the same way, there is nothing wrong in waiting for a while until enabling BYOD in the workplace. If you ride your bike, they sell awesome laptop backpacks online and in certain stores as well.

Prioritize spending

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Spending is all about priorities. It would be astute to follow the below kind of approach if you are looking to optimize and reduce IT spending.

  • First, list the complete budget.
  • Go over the budget line by line, what you absolutely cannot do without, mark them.
  • Go down the remaining part of the list and mark out what you do not need.
  • Do any reallocations needed in terms reallocating spending between items.

Tap cloud-based software

There are a number of advantages with cloud-based software. There are no startup costs involved and the recurring costs are low. However, the advantages are not limited to the cost aspect alone. Consider the below advantages of cloud-based software.

  • Scalability is conveniently available. To move from, say, eight users to 28 users is very easy.
  • You can step down on requirements easily. Meaning, you can go from 36 users to six users simply.
  • Monitoring of usage is easy and powerful tools are available.
  • Powerful software is available covering the entire spectrum of needs — CRM, ERP, HR management, office suites, and many others.

Implement outsourcing to datacenters

There are some application software elements for which hosted servers can be much cheaper when compared to local servers. For instance, Microsoft Exchange. Local hosting of Exchange servers can be very expensive. It would be appropriate to move these servers from local servers to hosted servers. Hosted server services are inexpensive. In addition, you can also take the local backup solution and migrate it to the cloud-based solution provided by the datacenter.

Implement individualization of budgets

When you are looking at the budget and avenues to cut down on costs, the lower level you go, the more avenues you can find out for cost cutting. Ideally this is the way you should be going about this process:

  • First, the budget should be organized by each department.
  • Have the respective department personnel go through the appropriate items and do the categorization.
  • Look at the categorization department by department.
  • Tie in the department-level numbers to department-level budgets.

Embrace green technology and sustainability

Green technology and sustainability is not merely a fad. There are a number of areas embraced by green technology and sustainability that can yield tangible benefits (but also have higher upfront costs, something to consider). Here are some of the areas from an IT point of view:

  • Implementing data and server centers with moderate cooling technology.
  • Embracing energy savings technology in the workplace.
  • Buying and using green-certified appliances and systems.
  • Air-conditioning systems may be implemented using energy-efficient water-cooling technologies.
  • Developing and running green energy-based power plants like solar and biomass.

Migrate to thin client technology

Thin client technology such as the Google Chromebook can greatly help you reduce IT spending. Not only is the Chromebook cheaper, it also obviates the need for local backup, local storage, and antivirus licenses. When you are using thin clients, storage happens on the network and so does program invocation. This means that even though you are using machines with fairly low- to mid-configuration, performance does not suffer.

Reexamine your mobile reimbursement policy

Many companies have a policy of mobile reimbursement whereby they pay for the mobile bills of a certain category of employees. Typically, these employees are senior level or work in positions that require them to be on call.

While it is relevant to reimburse the mobile bills of those people, it may be useful to review the policy thoroughly. As far as those employees are concerned whose job does not require them to be on call, such reimbursement is not needed. This can help reduce IT spending and save a considerable amount of money for the IT department.

Next level vs. high end

Oftentimes, you find that IT departments purchase only systems with the highest-level configuration possible. You can generally get by with configurations that are one level below. This next level vs. a high-end policy can help you buy systems that are perfectly fine while also being able to reduce IT spending.

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