Transcript of "10 Overlooked Way to Improve ROI in IT"
Improving ROI in ITBart DowningMaster Black BeltBS EngineeringM.B.A.Bart Downing www.linkedin.com/in/bartdowning/
IntroductionIntroductionIntroductionIntroductionThere’s many more ways to improve ROI. This presentation is to provide 10 of the most overlookedsavings.Bart Downing www.linkedin.com/in/bartdowning/
Top 10 Ways to Improve ROI on ITTop 10 Ways to Improve ROI on ITTop 10 Ways to Improve ROI on ITTop 10 Ways to Improve ROI on IT• Whitebox Servers• Virtualization• Terminals and Terminal Servers• Move the printer to the copier• Bandwidth Costs• VOIP & Online Meetings• Raise Ambient Temperatures• Customer Marketing• Cut the Invoice in Your Company• Cloud / “Sandbox”Bart Downing www.linkedin.com/in/bartdowning/
WhiteboxesWhiteboxesWhiteboxesWhiteboxesWhitebox refers to equipment manufactured without a major label or major brandname. Whiteboxes are most often assembled by the same companies that themajor brands use in their outsourced manufacturing. As of March 2013, Gartnerresearch reported whitebox sales representing 35.2% of the market.http://channelnomics.com/2013/03/04/whitebox-makers-rocking-incumbent-server-boat/http://online.barrons.com/article/SB50001424052748704882404578382574172584946.html?mod=BOL_twm_col#articleTabs_article%3D1Upside: Whitebox provides a considerable savings in hardware purchases becauseof lowered marketing spend, more direct modelDownside: An additional vendor in your portfolioBart Downing www.linkedin.com/in/bartdowning/
VirtualizationVirtualizationVirtualizationVirtualizationOS Virtualization enables servers to run multiple OS instances, each can be adifferent version, on a single server or cluster. Resources are allocated to thevirtual host or instance preventing one host from overusing the hardware to thedeterminate of the other hosts. The more efficient use of hardware in this modelgenerates large costs savings both at the server level and at the supportinginfrastructure.Upside: Reduced hardware expense / improved cost structure (even afteraccounting for virtual software costsDownside: Has a bad reputation from the early days when stability was a problem.If the farms are not planned or capacity tracked, the environment can becomemore difficult to adjust when needed.Bart Downing www.linkedin.com/in/bartdowning/
Terminals and Terminal ServersTerminals and Terminal ServersTerminals and Terminal ServersTerminals and Terminal ServersLike virtualization of servers, terminal servers virtualize the desktop environment. Endusers use a terminal to connect to the network. The terminal server will provide the OS,storage, etc. Terminal servers can run any version of Windows you like or not run Windowsat all.Upside:1. As the IT department you have fewer potential hardware failure points2. IT can better control software patches, antivirus, etc. because it’s on the server. Even software that pushes out patches tothe desktops historically have had issues or create a bad user experience3. IT software expenses can be reduced, if you are able to purchase the licenses on a usage basis instead of user basis4. Backup of the server has fewer operational issues than backup of the desktop environmentDownside: Terminals are not a good solution for those who travel or need to work fromoutside the office or work without a connection to the network. Terminals are stillpossible, the end user finds it more cumbersome (preference to their own laptop)Bart Downing www.linkedin.com/in/bartdowning/
Move Printer to the CopierMove Printer to the CopierMove Printer to the CopierMove Printer to the CopierHave you walked around the office and noticed laser printers and copiers sittingidle? Why are there so many of each? Over time copiers could be networked butorganizations kept the printer. When the printer died, the org would buy another!Laser printers can easily cost 1 – 2.5 cents per page in toner. A copier often costs0.5 – 1 cent per page. Additionally, the fewer network connections, support costs,etc. all help reduce the headcount the IT department requires.Upside: Fewer pieces of equipment, less expenseDownside: Make sure you have more than one copier or a backup printer so if oneunit goes down, there’s redundancy. The cost savings aren’t huge or technicallyinteresting so this opportunity tends to be overlooked or minimalizedBart Downing www.linkedin.com/in/bartdowning/
Bandwidth CostsBandwidth CostsBandwidth CostsBandwidth CostsHave you had bids recently from a group of telecom providers? Do you get bidsfrom time to time? Like any other service or vendor, if you don’t, you may end uppaying too much. Have you looked at consolidation (multiple fractional T1s) orhave you looked technology changes (fractional T1s moving to cable)? Your vendorwon’t tell you to drop their fractional T1 and pick up a cable line!Using your supply chain / procurement group can help. IT can partner with them touse supply chain expertise in maintaining the contracts, negotiation and bidcomparisons.Upside: Cost savingsDownside: None, just need the process to manageBart Downing www.linkedin.com/in/bartdowning/
VOIP & Online MeetingsVOIP & Online MeetingsVOIP & Online MeetingsVOIP & Online MeetingsVOIP can save money by moving your voice traffic to the data side of your telecom bill where thecosts are much less. VOIP software such as MS Lync can be more convenient for many employees.Personally, when I travel I like having my office phone move with me. If needed, I can setforwarding to my cell phone when I’m not connected. Online meetings are different than videoconferencing. In an online meeting I can share my screen or an application. That makes trainingeasier, presentations more convenient, etc. This is also available in MS Lync. Most cost savingscome from travel savings, there’s also the hard to capture value of making the company morenimble. Online meetings don’t require as long of a wait since I don’t have to travel to the site or thesite personnel to come to me. Both options have been around for years but few organizations takeadvantage of them or expect their business (not IT) to source it.Upside: VOIP and Online Meetings may not save IT much but it the ROI for the entire organization ishighDownside: I still haven’t seen voice quality and uptime as good as a old fashioned phoneBart Downing www.linkedin.com/in/bartdowning/
Raise Ambient TemperaturesRaise Ambient TemperaturesRaise Ambient TemperaturesRaise Ambient TemperaturesRoom temperature has nothing to do with server overheating. Many data centers are over 80degrees and push cool air directly in front of the server. Think of it as air conditioning the serveronly and not the rest of the room!Generally speaking servers can take 76F air for cooling as long as enough volume of air is available.If you don’t have a raised floor server room then put a small thermometer on the front of the serverenclosures. Raise the wall thermostat until it brings the enclosure thermometer to 76F.As much as feasible you want the cool air to enter the room on the bottom and the most heatproducing units to be at the top of the enclosure. This may not be practical to do in all situations.Upside: Save electrical costsDownside: The cost savings aren’t through new technology and the importance tend to beminimized by manyBart Downing www.linkedin.com/in/bartdowning/
Customer MarketingCustomer MarketingCustomer MarketingCustomer MarketingThe concept is simple. If nobody is promoting the services IT offers the company and nobody iseducating the end user on these services then how can the end user know they exist?Customer marketing is a very straight forward concept. Instead of developing more and moretechnology that you (IT) thinks the customer needs, you go out and work with the customer. See ifthey use the tools now. Show them how to use the tools fully, produce training materials. I don’tknow how many times I’ve seen a VP get fed up, meet with IT complaining about they need and tofind out that their employees don’t even know the tools already exist!Examples: Downloading data to Excel and working pivot tables. Using access to read large data filesinstead of asking for a new reporting function. Sharepoint allows the user to create their own adhoc workflow!Upside: The improved ROI for the company, better customer experienceDownside: It can be hard to measure the value of these activities (try surveys). Also it goes againstthe grain of most people (IT and not) so it can be harder to implement, to overcome internal interia.Bart Downing www.linkedin.com/in/bartdowning/
Cut the InvoiceCut the InvoiceCut the InvoiceCut the InvoiceLet’s start with three questions:1. Do you use purchase orders and know what you have ordered?2. Do you know when you received what you ordered?3. Do you know the price and terms?If you can’t answer yes then you’re probably feeling a little uncomfortable right now. If you cananswer yes, then why do you require an invoice to pay the vendor?Let’s face it, you know everything you need to know to pay them. The invoice is just morepaperwork, more chance for error and more steps that are costing your firm money. You canautomate the entire process. Once a service or product is received, you can trigger the next step forpayment. Utilities are one of the few exceptions which can be considered “received” when the billis received.Upside: Reduce paperwork, transactions, processes and peopleDownside: Many organizations will find learn that they can’t actually answer yes to 1 through 3!Bart Downing www.linkedin.com/in/bartdowning/
Cloud / “Sandbox”Cloud / “Sandbox”Cloud / “Sandbox”Cloud / “Sandbox”Forget the hype you’ve read on cloud. When we’re talking cloud, we mean enterprise level IT notconsumer level free apps, storage, etc. What can cloud really do enterprise level?It allows you to give inexpensive “sandbox” areas for your businesses to innovate. Back in the day,employees would have an idea and develop their own software. Often they would share it withcoworkers from under their desk until IT figured out what was going on. Now with new technology wecan stop a lot of that “shadow IT”. Sure it has saved liability but it’s also hampered innovation. Withcloud IT can “sell” a server to your business for cheap. IT only needs to support the underlying OS whilethe people with ideas can develop, break, fix and there’s nothing under their desk, no “shadow IT”.Sometimes the users of cloud want more support. Assistance for their app or expanded functionality incloud. Realistically IT can only provide so much since there’s very limited documentation. This is aneducation issueUpside: Enabling process innovation, better customer experienceDownside: Cost, users may expect more support than IT can realistically supplyBart Downing www.linkedin.com/in/bartdowning/
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