Dealing with Uncertainty – IT Cost Optimization Strategies | Blog 2

In the near future, when the current health crisis subsides, all businesses will get back to a "new normal."  For many industries, it will be time to sort through a level of uncertainty.  Many companies will be developing plans to reduce IT Operating Costs to cope with the uncertainty.

The Solutions II Adaptable Data Center® approach to IT Cost Optimization is based upon IT Leaders developing a detailed understanding of three business dynamics that will govern their decisions:

  • Current Challenges
  • Strategic Guidelines
  • Desired Business Outcomes

There are two broad approaches to IT Cost Optimization.  One approach is to focus on actions that will yield short term cost reduction/optimization.  That approach, which is important, should be combined with an additional approach of focusing on actions that will yield medium term and longer term cost reduction/optimization.

Key Focus Areas for Cost Optimization

In part one of this blog series, we discussed the first four key focus areas of:

  1. Cutting Software Licensing Costs
  2. Automate Processes and Automate IT Service Management and Security Response
  3. Optimize/Reduce Maintenance Costs
  4. Optimize Service Delivery Model

In this blog, we discuss the next four focus areas, both short term and medium-term strategies.

  1. Resource and Skills Allocation
    An unfortunate reality of business is that one of the quickest ways to reduce costs is to reduce headcount.  There are times when headcount reduction may be unavoidable, but even when that is the case,  the success of the business will still depend on an expected and consistent level of IT services.   IT Leaders need to keep their focus on required service levels and desired business outcomes that depend on IT capabilities. In some cases, carefully scoped outside services can help deliver necessary service levels at net-lower costs than full-time employees.  Contracts that are tailored to tie costs to outcomes (and based upon specific skillsets) can be an approach that will lower overall costs while delivering the IT capabilities that will help the business succeed in the near term and beyond.
  1. Reduce Security Complexity
    Many organizations have hardened their infrastructure and applications through a set of point solutions that lower risk for a defined set of scenarios.  In some cases this has resulted in a fairly disjointed collection of best-of-breed security technology solutions. In today’s world, lowering enterprise risk profile with technology solutions is best done with a platform approach.  Each security technology solution needs to become part of an integrated fabric that works together as force multipliers.Reducing security complexity by connecting all point solutions to a fabric (or in some cases replacing multiple point solutions with a less expensive integrated approach) will help create alerts and incidents that are fully enriched with vital information from across the enterprise. This, in turn, will simplify and accelerate response and resolution – and – become an effective platform for automation and orchestration which will further drive down costs while lowering enterprise risk profile.
  1. Reduce Technical Debt
    In this category, we are focusing mostly on the Technical Debt that has built up across the Infrastructure and Service Delivery operations.  A disciplined Service Management approach (based on an ITIL or similar framework) will yield a valuable set of information on recurring Incidents and Problems.  Focusing on eliminating root cause of the recurring Incidents and Problems will result in the reduction of an organization’s Technical Debt. You can go a step further and review the Service Requests that are recurring most frequently and implement self-serve and automation to fulfill those Service Requests moving forward.
  1. Do Things Right the First Time
    This focus area is all about not creating Technical Debt.  Whether it is in Application Development, Enterprise Architecture, or IT Operations … there is medium to long term cost savings in the discipline of ‘doing things right the first time’.Think about the processes, inspection and reporting protocols, and management review that can help mature an organization to a level where no short-cuts are allowed and quality (conformance to specifications) is non-negotiable.

If you haven't read Part 1 of this 3 part series, you can find it here. Make sure to check back for the final blog of series that will focus on other ways to optimize your IT. We're here to help, so click here if you would like more information on how Solutions II is helping clients with the Adaptable Data Center® or just need to ask a question about getting to the "new normal."

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