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Crisis Survival Kit: 6 Ways To Contain IT Costs

Infrastructure -- roads and bridges -- is what keeps our society moving, literally, and without management and maintenance, it crumbles. The same is true of your company's IT infrastructure -- the hardware, software, networks, and other systems that keep your business moving require care and feeding. And that costs money. Here are 6 ways to keep those costs under control without allowing your infrastructure to deteriorate and take your business with it.
Infrastructure -- roads and bridges -- is what keeps our society moving, literally, and without management and maintenance, it crumbles. The same is true of your company's IT infrastructure -- the hardware, software, networks, and other systems that keep your business moving require care and feeding. And that costs money. Here are 6 ways to keep those costs under control without allowing your infrastructure to deteriorate and take your business with it.According to Dell, for every dollar spent on hardware, $8 is spent on management and maintenance. If that factoid is even half-true, the motivation to contain ongoing IT "M & M" costs is intense. To speak to this issue -- and let's face it, cultivate customers -- Dell has launched the Simplify and Save blog specifically for IT decision makers.

For the inaugural post, none other than Michael Dell -- a small business founder who made it REALLY big -- asked Stephen Schuckenbrock, Dell's CIO, and other IT leaders at Dell how they were responding to the conflicting conditions of contracting budgets and increased demands for support automation to reduce spending across the business. Here's the 6 tips they gave him:

  1. Focus on hard returns -- cost avoidance is not the same thing as cost reduction
  2. Prioritize projects that reduce costs -- slow down or accelerate strategic projects prioritized by cost reduction benefits
  3. Consolidate everything -- suppliers generally want to show increased revenue, consolidated buys are always cheaper
  4. Focus on project deployment cycles -- the improvement only happens when the systems are in the users hands. Organizations often focus on the development cycle but not as much on the rollout/deployment. It becomes more important than ever in a downturn to realize benefits quickly.
  5. Review fixed costs -- it is both a good time to renegotiate and a good time to change budget expectations
  6. Introduce new programs that can eliminate opex (virtualization, consolidation, flex, etc) -- consider managed services and/or leasing.

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