IT Infrastructure: Reducing Costs and Complexities

IT Infrastructure: Reducing Costs and Complexities

Amid the economic crisis, companies are searching for every opportunity to reduce costs. IT represents an important part of total spending and its direct contribution to revenues and profits is often difficult to measure.   

Nonetheless, significant additional reductions and efficiencies are possible if companies take a broader look at the way they manage the IT architecture as a whole. The key to these economies is bringing business and IT leaders together in a combined effort to rationalize not only business applications and processes but also the core IT infrastructure and operations. 

Some Ways of Reducing IT Costs: 

Rationalize Software Licenses 

An inventory of licenses should uncover idle, underused, and even incorrect ones. When business managers participate in the review, CXOs can determine how many licenses are truly necessary, retire those that aren’t, and then negotiate deeper discounts by consolidating licenses. 

Encourage Reuse  

Too many organizations spend precious IT resources reinventing the wheel. A serious review of the existing project portfolio will probably uncover a number of opportunities to reuse existing solutions and build a common repository of services and solutions. The move to a service-oriented architecture, which describes a system in terms of the business capabilities it requires and a uniform way of accessing and interacting with them, is an important part of this shift. 

Standardize Technologies  

In many companies, the great diversity of technologies—including programming languages, operating systems, and integration tools—creates tremendous inefficiencies. A careful review will point out redundant versions, unsupported technologies, and nonstandard tools that should give way to fewer, more standard systems. The cost savings come from simpler and consolidated procurement, as well as lower support and maintenance expenditures. 

Reduce Interface Complexity  

An IT staff can spend as much as 30% of its development time on applications making all of their interfaces work, largely because customized applications have so many point-to-point interfaces. Standardized interfaces, such as the enterprise service bus (ESB), can greatly ease the burden of system integration and minimize the chore of dealing with local changes. The team should start by identifying and focusing on the key interfaces driving most of the effort.