Your IT strategy should not be a Ron Popeil, “set it and forget it” undertaking. What worked for you last year may not work for you next year and simply adjusting the budget to accommodate for new hires and end of life hardware won’t cut it. As you look to 2016, there are several actions you can take now to get a true understanding of your IT budget needs. Keeping your IT budget in check is an ongoing process, but should start with these three considerations:
True Total Cost of Ownership: IT costs involve much more than just servers. Energy, cooling, networking, and management costs must all be factored into what it takes to keep those servers running and applications performing, but often the true total cost is never sufficiently calculated. If your costs seem to have been going up, it’s time to take a look at what is driving those costs, beyond hardware, and ensure that the expense and service are in alignment. When performing this exercise, be sure to ask if it makes sense to look to outsource some of the in-house infrastructure. You might be surprised by the savings.
IT and Business Alignment: If IT is pushing for a project to be funded and completed while the finance and executive teams are left wondering if it’s worth the investment, it is time for alignment. IT departments should not have to guess which business objectives and initiatives are most important to support. Key business objectives should be clearly defined with the services and resources required to support those initiatives. When the business and IT leaders of any given organization are in alignment, that business can be more agile and in turn, outpace competitors.
Asset Utilization: How efficient are your servers and just how many of the servers you’re powering are actually being used? You can act on your TCO findings by auditing your environment and taking unnecessary hardware offline or virtualizing where it makes sense.