In the spirit of System Administrator Day, we’ve provided practical steps to improve operational efficiency and reduce costs.
According to research from information technology (IT) advisory firm Gartner, worldwide IT spending in 2012 is estimated to hit $3.6 trillion—up just three percent from 2011. Although this is better than last year, many IT leaders are still under significant pressure to reduce their organization’s IT spend. In honor of System Administrator Day, observed on July 27, Hardware.com has identified four practical tips to help IT professionals improve efficiency and reduce costs within their organizations.
As new networking trends and technologies continue to emerge, IT professionals find themselves subjected to many new challenges. Although these can be difficult to navigate, it’s possible for IT leaders to get back to basics and reduce costs with a few simple steps for keeping IT costs in check:
1. Introduce competition for existing product.
A sure-fire way for IT execs to reduce costs is to use multiple vendor technologies within the IT infrastructure. A recent study from Gartner found that by introducing a second vendor, organizations can “reduce total cost of ownership by at least 15 to 25 percent over a five-year timeframe.” By adopting a multi-vendor approach, IT leaders can keep vendors vying for their business and ensure price protection for both short- and long-term budgets.
2. Use standards-based architectures instead of proprietary solutions.
According to an article in Network World, many IT analysts believe “proprietary architectures have more to do with vendor lock-in than with technological advancement.” In order to control costs and ensure greater flexibility of their infrastructures, IT leaders should consider investing in standards-based technology and protocols instead of proprietary technology. This is especially important amid today’s rapidly evolving networking industry.
3. Take advantage of proof-of-concept hardware.
Because network infrastructures are costly investments, IT providers go to great lengths to demonstrate the efficacy of new products and solutions through advanced demonstrations. If a company’s IT partner cannot offer or deliver proof-of-concept hardware, it should be viewed as a red flag—a sign they may not practice what they preach. IT professionals can maximize their investment and ensure a good fit by taking advantage of proof-of-concept resources before purchase and implementation.
4. Liquidate ‘end-of-life’ hardware.
Many companies dispose of old hardware by arranging trade-ins with their manufacturers; however, in most cases IT professionals can achieve greater financial returns by organizing trade-ins with a third-party technology provider instead. With more experience in ‘end-of-life’ equipment, technology providers have a better understanding of product value and how to exchange it.
Amid a wealth of information that exists in the marketplace today, it’s easy to overlook tried and true strategies for controlling IT costs. In honor of System Administrator Day, we felt it was important to provide IT professionals with tips for effectively reducing hardware costs without disrupting the flow of their business.