IT Maintenance and amp; Management costs and an organization’s competitiveness has an inverse relationships. The idea behind is that the more you reduce the maintenance and management costs, the more money you will have for new project’s development or to take new initiatives that service the entire business. Six common strategies that are used by organizations to reduce their M and amp;M costs and to increase their competitiveness are as follows:
1. Moving to Cloud Based Services
M and amp;M cost reduction occurs in the following areas when you move in-house IT servers and amp; services to the cloud.
- Cost shifts from Capital Expenditures to Operating Expenditures – Moving to the cloud reduces capital expenditures for servers and amp; related network equipment, transforming capital costs to monthly operating expenses.
- Reduced setup and labor costs– Setup relates to service configuration and delivery only, rather than setting up a server and hardware infrastructure for service delivery. M and amp;M labor costs are handled by the cloud provider on an as-needed basis, instead of using dedicated staff.
- Expansion costs– Cloud providers can furnish additional capabilities such as more disk, CPU, memory and amp; communication lines faster than you would be able to for in-house servers and amp; infrastructures.
- Peak demand– Cloud providers can quickly furnish temporary capacity increases as service demand peaks. With in-house servers, you must provide excess capacity to handle peak demands.
Moving to the cloud generally reduces capital, setup, labor and amp; expansion costs in exchange for monthly costs.
2. Implementing a higher level of automation
Data Center Automation reduces the need for manual configuration and amp; processing. DCA tools can automate many M and amp;M functions, including:
- Job and amp; process scheduling
- System and amp; job monitoring
- Service provisioning and amp; configuration
- Application service delivery
- Workload on-demand – to increase capabilities during peak traffic
Automation replaces labor costs with software and amp; configuration costs.
3. Shifting staff to outside contractors and amp; consultants
When shifting in-house work to consultants and amp; contractors, you only contract for the work you need and the contractor/consultant is no longer on the payroll after the project completes.
4. Implementing DevOps and amp; Agile practices
DevOps and amp; Agile practices generally break down organizational silos between software developers and amp; IT operations personnel. DevOps and amp; Agile are collaborative practices, focusing on faster time-to-market, lower failure rates, rapid updates and amp; fixes, and quicker recovery from system issues. They pave the way towards an application-centric infrastructure that is built around improving application and service delivery rather than managing servers, switches, firewalls and amp; telecommunications lines.
5. Using micro services, containers or virtualization
Virtualization hosts multiple virtual instances of an operating environment on the same machine, reducing the number of physical servers needed. Containers isolate applications from the environment they reside in, making them stateless. In a container environment, you install only what you need to run an application, nothing more. Containers can be deployed quickly inside VMs, in the cloud, or inside a physical machine, providing a separate application and amp; network environment without running a VM for each application. A container’s smaller infrastructure footprint provides a more secure and easier to configure environment.
Micro services architecture deploys applications as a series of small and independent modular services that run unique processes and amp; communicate through lightweight protocols, making applications easier to understand, develop and amp; test. Like DevOps and amp; Agile practices, these architectures support continuous deployment and deployment outside of the traditional IT infrastructure, reducing M and amp;M costs and allowing applications to be quickly deployed in several different environments.
6. Extending ITSM capabilities in organization
Organizations are deploying service management for customers, business partners and amp; internal users in the following areas:
- Customer service and support
- Human resources/human capital
- Financial services
- Supplier management
Enterprise-wide ITSM is becoming a platform that enables services, updates, events, incident management and amp; provisioning for the entire enterprise. Service management is becoming more holistic, growing and amp; encompassing services both inside and amp; outside the IT department, leveraging ITSM technology.
And so it goes
The inverse relationship between IT M and amp;M costs and amp; an organization’s competitive positioning is just one of the more interesting findings in the Forbes Insights survey. Today’s post is part of a continuing series examining the survey’s findings. I’ll look at other survey findings in later posts.
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