Many organizations are still looking to reduce operational expenses while increasing overall efficiency. Here are 10 ways that you may be able to cut IT operation costs in your organization.
10. Take a look at IT process automation. Run book automation tools have matured to the point that they can streamline routine but time-consuming IT tasks. This can include just about any IT task where you can follow discrete process steps. See how these products could help you save time and money.
9. Co-source. If you're not ready to outsource the management of your environment, try co-sourcing. In this arrangement, you still have the systems in your environment, but another firm will run and operate them. This way, if co-sourcing doesn't work out, you can easily bring it back in-house. These services can be far less expensive than hiring a cadre of full-time employees, and you can manage it as a service.
8. Software tool replacement. While it may seem extreme, several new vendors are offering many of the same capabilities as enterprise providers. You may be able to purchase new software and implement it for less than the cost of annual maintenance for your current vendor.
7. Invest in an SLA management system. If you're in an environment where you pay penalties for missing service guarantees, invest in a system that can proactively notify you of potential issues before they become violations. It could pay for itself by preventing one violation.
6. Enable virtualization. Many organizations want to move more of their systems to virtualized ones, but still haven't figured out how to deal with configuration, provisioning, and overall management. If you deploy a a virtualization management system to make virtualization a reality, you will enable faster adoption of the platform.
5. Get a process assessment. Many operations environments have a lot of inefficient processes. If you aren't using ITIL, Cobit, or another best practice, it may be worth the small investment to see if you improve your workflow and save dollars.
4. Automate event management. Using advanced rules and automation, you can correlate and escalate many issues that affect overall mean-time-to-repair (MTTR). Most tools have this capability, but few organizations have implemented it. This can reduce the number of operations staff needed to monitor event lists.
3. Develop Quick-Ramp-Up-Guides (Q-RUGS). Most operations environments have higher-than-average turnover. With Q-RUGS, you can reduce the ramp-up time for new staff and lessen the impact if an individual leaves the group. These are far better than exhaustive training documents and can be used as reference guides on the job.
2. Operations tool integration. If you don't have your fault or performance management system integrated, or they can't communicate with your trouble-ticketing system, you're not making best use of the tools. Integrating the platforms can save substantial time during the year and is well worth the investment, as staff will not have to correlate information from multiple systems to determine what the true problem is and then report in another system.
1. Consolidate software vendors. In most organizations, there are software tools performing duplicate functions. This could include polling to monitor performance, faults, or other key functions. Eliminating vendors will reduce your annual maintenance bill and reduce staff time to keep the system up and running.