The Smaller Business' Guide to Getting Ready for the Recession - InformationWeek

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2/21/2008
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The Smaller Business' Guide to Getting Ready for the Recession

We are living in uncertain economic times. Smaller businesses are breathlessly waiting for the recession that has seemed to be lurking just out of sight for a while now to finally make its appearance. It's time to get ready for our unwelcome but inevitable visitor.

We are living in uncertain economic times. Smaller businesses are breathlessly waiting for the recession that has seemed to be lurking just out of sight for a while now to finally make its appearance. It's time to get ready for our unwelcome but inevitable visitor.To help smaller businesses with their preparation, CRN went straight to the experts. Its slideshow, 8 Tips to Recession-Proof Your Business, is a collection of cost-cutting and streamlining tips from seasoned executives that range from the obvious to the stuff we keep hearing about and know we should try.

Who hasn't considered outsourcing to offshore locations, as Gabriel Rozman, TCS executive vice president, recommends.

But Phantom Data Systems' founder Alani Kuye, makes a case for open source that those smaller businesses that haven't yet gone open source would do well to consider. "You can't deny the revenue that is attached to services, and proprietary software implementation takes 15 times longer: You have to negotiate margins, SLAs, do validation, licensing and paperwork. By the time you complete all that one, two months pass. On the other hand, on Day 1 with open source, you can have a service agreement and you can get going. The time to market is much faster."

Another new way to go is MSPs which Ronnie Parisella, CTO at Primary Support, recommends. "Managed Service Providers who offer a flat-fee for the proactive support of their customers' networks are less likely to be affected [during a downturn]."

Rockwell Bonecutter, managing partner for the Accenture Data Center Technology and Operations Practice in America, asserts that green technologies will save companies money  and do some good. "CPUs today use a fraction of the power that they did five years ago. Customers get a natural power efficiency through updating hardware. [For example,] there is new technology emerging, such as AMD's Barcelona, which, because it has hypervisor embedded in it, should produce additional efficiencies in virtualization. And virtualization means using a more streamlined architecture, creating less heat, which uses less energy, and means fewer pieces of hardware, which will need less service. It's the Holy Grail of IT propositions: It's right for the environment, it lets you upgrade hardware and see ROI."

Hard to argue with that.

Smaller businesses, are you bracing for the recession? I've made some recommendations myself but we want to hear from you. What are you doing to get ready?

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