Network Computing is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Affordable IT

Lean Yet Strong

Thankfully, IT organizations have come a long way when it comes to managing projects on time and within budget. We take a more holistic view of our responsibilities. That means being lean yet strong, and thrifty without being stingy. We've learned how to measure the value of IT--calculating return on investment and total cost of ownership, evaluating the risk a project may create (or mitigate, as is the case in many information security initiatives). We've learned that sacrificing some flexibility or advanced product features may produce simpler, more affordable solutions. We've learned not only to work within the budgets our business offices create, but also to justify our budget needs in a language the business office can understand.

This is not to say we've met all our challenges. And there's the risk that we could get too chintzy. When you cut corners, whether to save a buck or to get a project completed, you usually introduce risk to your organization. You'll have to consider a number of trade-offs.

For instance, a series of point products may help you solve individual problems, but if you must integrate them with your current IT infrastructure and applications, you'll have to spend some time and money later to get them to talk with one another. Conversely, opting for a single vendor to exact volume discounts and ease support and management can lead to costly lock-in. Using commercial soft- ware often comes with a hefty purchase and support price, and there's always the risk that your vendor will discontinue the product, or worse, go out of business. Yet using open-source software and shareware comes with its own maintenance and support risks.

Even More ...

  • 1