IT infrastructure has become the backbone of successful business operations. Today’s companies require advanced IT solutions to efficiently store and share files, collect and analyze customer data, as well as manage business systems. They need to be able to deploy complex systems and integrate multiple applications in order to maintain sufficient productivity and service quality levels.
Such needs translate into a massive demand for infrastructure services. These, on the other hand, mean increased IT costs.
While constant infrastructure upgrades cannot be avoided in any growing company, balancing the costs is certainly under the management’s control. Below are some of the ways your company can do so.
Current IT Infrastructure Investment Trends
The growing demand for IT infrastructure components such as hardware, software, and network resources makes IT budget planning a complex challenge. To overcome it, companies are increasingly turning to Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) solutions.
Enabling easy scaling of storage, backup, and other IT resources, the IaaS model is constantly gaining in popularity among medium and large businesses. IDC predicts that the IaaS spending will surpass the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) spending for the first time this year.
This figure indicates a major mindset shift in IT decision-making. Companies are no longer predominantly investing in specific cloud-based software. They now more readily outsource other infrastructure resources as a way to simplify IT management and lower the costs.
Considering IaaS for your business is just one of the ways to lower your IT infrastructure costs. Below are five more specific steps that you can take to prevent your budget from going into red next year.
1. Move more workloads to the cloud.
The cloud computing market has grown to offer business with a hybrid, private and public cloud services. One of the recent surveys showed that 32 percent of the companies were embracing public cloud services, while 38 percent were adopting private clouds in 2017.
The adoption of cloud services will remain a major trend in 2017. Cloud computing refers to the process of storing and retrieving useful programs and data over the Internet. Regardless of the services or products your enterprise deals with, you should store your enterprise’s data online.
The good thing about the cloud is that it saves money and increases the security of your company’s data. Adopting cloud computing will help you cut costs needed to set up IT infrastructure for storing sensitive company data. Furthermore, the cloud serves companies with hyper-scalable and on-demand services that would help them grow. There are a number of cloud hosting companies out there. When looking for a cloud hosting service, consider one that offers cloud packages aimed at meeting your enterprise’s IT infrastructure needs.
Cloud computing also enables you to cut the expenses that your company incurred on the maintenance of IT infrastructure products. Since your data will be hosted online, experienced experts will be in charge of its maintenance. These experts will also provide you 24/7 access to the data.
They offer prompt customer service to you in situations where you are experiencing trouble with your web hosting account. As a company owner, embracing cloud computing technology ensures that you save on costs incurred when coping with sudden machine failure or catastrophic events. It also safeguards your firm’s data from hackers or individual with intentions to damage your firm’s reputation.
2. Virtualize Your IT Infrastructure
Virtualizing your company’s IT infrastructure enables your business to operate efficiently at lower costs. This is because virtualization replaces physical hardware. Virtualization breaks the link between computer programs and resources needed to operate them. It brings together networking, computer processing, and storage resources. Through a virtualization software program, these resources are powered to function efficiently.
You no longer need to spend money on buying physical hardware. This is because virtualization allows your company to operate on virtual infrastructure. When your firm embraces virtualization, it will record a decrease in data center operating costs.
Data center operating costs are usually incurred for heating, cooling, power, and storage space. Before your IT infrastructure is virtualized, these expenses are critical in ensuring that hardware runs well.
Using virtualization technology also helps your enterprise to avoid downtime. Downtime may cause your business venture to stop being in operation for some time. It also forces you to pay for additional IT support for your computer systems to function correctly. Computer hardware devices are prone to failure at times. Virtualization technology, on the other hand, provides a convenient platform for pooling resources. In this case, when one resource fails, there are several others ready to provide support.
3. Upgrade Your Servers and Use Managed IT Services
Replace old servers in your enterprise with new ones that can support high workloads. Ensure that your newly purchased servers are efficient regarding low power consumption and performance.
As a business owner, you can also plan to buy commoditized servers. These devices are proved to be effective in cutting IT infrastructure costs. They can be customized depending on the intensity of work you want them to support. They have no maintenance expenses or agreements. Avoid buying servers at a low price from unlicensed dealers. Do not be convinced by fancy advertisements of servers that are sold by these dealers. This is because most unlicensed dealers are known for selling fake stuff.
At times, the server might not show signs of being fake after being purchased. It will start experiencing hardware related problems after a few months, and you will be forced to buy another one. Buy authentic servers since the goal here is to cut IT infrastructure expenses and increase efficiency.
Use managed IT services to save your technology-related expenses on a long-term basis. IT support can either be billed through fixed fees or variable fees. Variable fees are for support services that are based on resources and time. They differ from time to time depending on the complexity of problem facing a company. They are also billed for short-term solutions. Fixed fees or managed IT services, on the other hand, are billed for long-term solutions.
When you use managed IT services, your IT costs will be fixed. These services enable your business venture to budget adequately for technology related solutions it needs. They also ensure that your venture’s technology needs are always solved. In these case, the needs are solved based on a flat fee agreement with the provider.
In pursuit of managed IT services, you should note that there are fraudulent providers out there. They will deceive you into seeking their solutions and charge you extra fees. They demand fees for holiday, after-hour and overtime allowances. You may notice that their offerings look cheap, but once you seek them, you will be forced to pay additional fees for their demands.
4. Client Device Management and Self-service Desks
Replacing the devices used for client computing can significantly help in lowering your IT infrastructure costs. In business establishments, personal computers are the most common client computing devices. Personal computers are quite expensive to maintain and manage because of issues such as software updates and hardware repair.
As an enterprise owner, procure thinner, powerful, and standardized devices like laptops and tablets. Laptops and tablets are more comfortable to use both inside and outside the office premises. They also require less maintenance and management. Use effective tools for endpoints to minimize configuration errors and troubleshooting time. These tools also boost security.
Companies usually spend on customer support and hiring professionals to provide the support. As an enterprise owner, introduce self-service desks in your customer support department. Self-service desks are suitable for customers who can perform do-it-yourself tasks on their own. They minimize unnecessary calls that clients make to the customer support team of your company.
5. Negotiate with Your Internet Service Providers
Your company is likely to be spending 26 percent of its IT infrastructure budget on networks.
Most of these expenses are incurred for Internet connectivity services for wireless area networks and local area networks. Business owners make a mistake of buying more data than they need for their day-to-day activities. Others subscribe to data packages provided by multiple Internet service providers.
To reduce network costs, you should re-evaluate the type of Internet service providers that serve your firm. You should also re-evaluate the efficiency of the services provided against the expenses that your company incurs. Make an effort to contact your current telecom carriers and notify them about your wishes to renegotiate the prices of their services. Ensure that you state the amount of data your firm needs on a monthly basis.
Use wireless LAN deployments to access the Internet rather than wired LAN deployments. This is because wireless LANs do not require physical cabling every time you make changes in your firm’s offices. They are also easy to configure, maintain, and manage. Use services offered by colocation providers that have their network connections. This practice enables you to save on the money paid to telecom providers for the same services.
If your firm offers tiered internal support to clients, review how this support can be best provided. Use low-cost tier for the support service. However, ensure that it does not compromise the quality of the support given to clients.
Try to streamline the allocation of your firm’s finances on expensive labor. Ensure that your company follows the guidelines for improving service management and quality. These guidelines are outlined in the Information Technology Infrastructure Library.