Five Ways to Get the Most Out of Your IT Budget

Businesses are always looking for alternative ways to cut costs, increase value and streamline operations without disrupting output of future growth. Traditional cost-cutting strategies such as canceling or postponing projects and reducing headcount can offer immediate relief of financial obligations associated with budget. However, these methods often fail to ultimately generate quantifiable value.

Here’s a list of five business technology trends designed to extend cost-cutting solutions, as well as true business value:

1. Consolidate and Virtualize Your Server Environment

The technology associated with virtualization has been around for many years. Only fox-5_twitter_logorecently has it emerged as a viable option designed to improve information security, business continuity and hardware utilization.

Benefits associated with implementing a virtual server environment are…
•Reduce the need to purchase additional hardware (servers)
•Eliminate the hassle of building and provisioning new servers
•Reduce the amount (and costs!) of power, cooling and space
•Improve recovery time for unplanned network outages

Virtualizing your server environment presents a number of opportunities for driving capital and operational efficiencies for any organization.

2.Repurpose or Retire Old or Underutilized Hardware

Revisit your list of paused IT initiatives and consider how excess hardware might be provisioned to implement some of these projects.

3.Audit Software Licenses

Keeping with industry best practices, it’s always a good idea to keep an accurate inventory of all hardware and software being utilized on a network. While hardware is generally easier to manage, it’s software that often gets overlooked.

By going through the audit process, you’ll often reveal software that is seldom or no longer used. Once you have identified and eliminated redundancy in your software portfolio, you can then consolidate your software applications to dramatically reduce development, support and maintenance expenditures.

4.Consider Managed Service Providers and Infrastructure Hosting to Manage Day-to-Day IT

Many technology solutions can be supported more efficiently, and less expensively, if handled by an IT managed services provider. This includes remote monitoring and help desk support, infrastructure hosting, hardware/software leasing and email/Web security.

A service provider allows you to…
•Do more with less, by outsourcing day-to-day technology tasks
•Focus internal IT resources on more core competencies
•Realize more predictable IT expenses
•Benefit from additional skills and niche expertise

For IT infrastructure hosting, consider…
•Hosting the equipment at a co-location facility
•Leasing the hardware and/or software from a preferred vendor
•Supporting the solutions at your place of business

Partnering with a managed service provider will arm you with a trusted IT advisor, who focuses on educating your business on available options best suited to your business needs.

5.Align Your IT Infrastructure with Business Processes and Goals

Whether you choose to support an internal IT staff or partner with a provider to support your technology initiatives, it’s critical that short-term and long-term business goals are factored into the decision-making process associated with technology acquisitions.

Your support staff can greatly benefit from meeting with business executives and gaining an understanding of the overall needs of the organization. They can better predict future demands and requirements based on technology and best align future purchases with mission critical goals and objectives.

Substantial cost savings can be realized as both core business and IT initiatives will be aligned as future purchases are made.

It’s important to be aware that as technology continues to evolve, so do available options. Being informed on all solutions leads to valuable benefits such as increased competitive advantages, streamlined operational efficiencies and being able to do more with less.

While it might sound too good to be true, the benefits are real. The solutions exist. The opportunities are out there.

What is your organization currently doing to ensure that your IT budget is stretching as far as it can go?

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