If your enterprise is like most, infrastructure and operation (I&O) costs account for over 50% of your IT budget. Likewise, there is a good chance that this huge expense has been questioned by your senior execs. With budgets being slashed across the board, there is a good chance that you are — or will be — held accountable for reducing your I&O spend. Infrastructure analysis can help you tease out the areas where you can save. Below are the four top considerations to focus on when conducting an infrastructure analysis.
- Focus on Meeting Business Needs – This is really where your analysis needs to start. You can modernize to your heart’s content; but if you cannot tie progress back to your organization’s defined business objectives, you are going to lose. Begin by conducting a solid business needs assessment and identifying which systems need to be upgraded to meet those needs. Remember that infrastructure projects are lengthy, so you need to consider where your enterprise is now and where it will be in the future.
- Virtualize Your Servers and Reduce Power and Cooling Costs – Look at which of your systems can be virtualized. Moving processing and storage to the cloud can save you significant cash, speed time to innovation, and streamline operations. Additionally, savings will come by punting costs for cooling and powering infrastructure to your cloud vendor. Cloud vendors are more efficient at handling energy issues, thus these savings will be passed on to you.
- Upgrade Antiquated Hardware – There will be certain systems that you need to maintain in house. However, that does not mean you need to keep duct taping parts onto your 80’s era “big iron” mainframes. Converting to modern hardware will save not only in power and cooling costs, but also in maintenance. In fact, one recent assessment by IDC found that hardware upgrades can reduce spend by up to 33%. Don’t get us wrong, mainframes still have their place in IT; but you will benefit by identifying the systems that can be moved to modern distributed architecture.
- Lower Administrative Costs – Finally, we often don’t consider looking to the end-users as a source of I&O efficiency. However, self-service initiatives can make a substantial dent in your spend. Begin by looking at how much you are coughing up to support the help-desk and service calls. If the cost is high, consider investing in initiatives to help your users help themselves. Similarly, if your are not already, consider allowing members to submit support tickets over the network. Support calls are expensive and consume your staff’s time and the time of the user who is calling in.
Infrastructure analysis can save your skin when it comes time for budget review. Even if you have not begun to resolve the issues that were identified in the analysis, simply showing you have a plan and have taken the initiative to identify them will likely go a long way.