Top 10 Ways to Increase IT ROI Without Adding IT Staff

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Simplify operations. Complexity produces cost, so IT departments may choose to standardize on a handful of preferred technologies or vendors. The biggest line item in IT budgets is people, so staffing …

Simplify operations. Complexity produces cost, so IT departments may choose to standardize on a handful of preferred technologies or vendors. The biggest line item in IT budgets is people, so staffing must be addressed. That could mean hiring freezes, cutting back on use of consultants, replacing employees who leave with automation technologies (not another person) and similar measures to limit spending on people. IT managers should plan proactively for spending cuts before they are mandated. That may involve rebalancing IT initiatives to focus on projects with near-term benefits while keeping momentum on longer-term, strategic projects. They also may need to align IT more closely with the business priorities, which are likely to focus on revenue.

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  • 1. Top 10 Ways to Increase IT ROIWithout Adding StaffBy Tim ClarkThe FactPoint Group
  • 2. Table of Contents1.0 Introduction ......................................................................................................................................... 32.0 Top 10 Ways to Increase IT ROI Without Adding Staff ................................................................ 33.0 Top 10 Strategies for Systems Management .................................................................................44.0 How Dell KACE Appliances Increase IT ROI ..................................................................................85.0 How the KACE Appliance Maps to Best Practices and IT Savings ............................................. 9About The FactPoint Group................................................................................................................... 11Dell KACE Corporate Background ....................................................................................................... 112 Copyright © 2011 The FactPoint Group and Dell KACE. All rights reserved.
  • 3. 1.0 IntroductionTough economic times are upon us, and no one knows how long they may last. As usual, corporatemanagers will look to IT departments for cost savings. “Many clients can expect to receive mandatesfrom senior executives to cut IT costs as part of an enterprise cost-cutting program,” IT advisory firmGartner wrote recently.Historically, IT managers opted to delay purchases for IT infrastructure, particularly hardware. That’sbeen a decent strategy since hardware costs have declined over time. Today, however, IT managersare looking for alternative strategies that don’t leave them with a huge backlog of hardware needswhen the economy turns around.The first principle is: Simplify operations. Complexity produces cost, so IT departments may choose tostandardize on a handful of preferred technologies or vendors. The biggest line item in IT budgets ispeople, so staffing must be addressed. That could mean hiring freezes, cutting back on use ofconsultants, replacing employees who leave with automation technologies (not another person) andsimilar measures to limit spending on people.IT managers should plan proactively for spending cuts before they are mandated. That may involverebalancing IT initiatives to focus on projects with near-term benefits while keeping momentum onlonger-term, strategic projects. They also may need to align IT more closely with the businesspriorities, which are likely to focus on revenue.Within IT, those big-picture considerations can help guide how companies adjust the management oftheir IT operations. The next section of this white paper outlines 10 specific strategies for shrinking ITcost, which are summarized in the table that follows.2.0 Top 10 Ways to Increase IT ROI Without Adding StaffBest Practice Financial BenefitsGo Green Save money and reduce carbon footprints.Telework Lower utility cost, greater productivity, less office space required.Power management Lower utility costs.Power-efficient hardware Lower utility costs, less need to add new data center space.Standardize Lower labor costs resulting from fewer configurations to manage.Virtualize Lowers costs for hardware, space and utilities.Track assets Software: reduce licensing costs for unused licenses. Hardware: find lost assets. Timely patches reduce costly outages.Best practices from community Lower costs for paid vendor technical support and for training, especially with travel.Remote management Reduced travel costs, including personnel time.Automate systems management Lower personnel costs. Better compliance reduces costs oftasks outages.Integrated systems management Lower personnel costs. Lower utility costs.Vendor financing Conserves cash by spreading purchase cost overtime.Appliances Lower labor costs to maintain, lower utility costs.3 Copyright © 2011 The FactPoint Group and Dell KACE. All rights reserved.
  • 4. 3.0 Top 10 Strategies for Systems Management1. Go green, save green Don’t Forget to Power Down Computers Beyond telecommuting, enterprises can cutCorporate concern for environmentally friendly practices power consumption by turning computers offhas risen in the past several years and fortunately, for at night or for other extended periods of noboth the environment and individual companies, many usage. For maximum benefit, that strategy“green” practices are also friendly to the company must extend to remote locations, whichcheckbook. requires centralized remote management capabilities including wake on LAN for after-For example, telecommuting by IT staff and other hours patching and updates and remote control for general maintenance. Someemployees can save companies money by reducing the utilities offer cash incentives for power-savingneed for office space and utility costs, not to mention technology—in California up to $15 percarbon emissions. IT workers may even be willing to take computer.a pay cut to work from home. In a June 2008 survey, ITjob site Dice found that 37% of IT workers say they’d The U.S. Environmental Protection Agencyaccept up to a 10% lower salary to work full-time from (EPA) estimates that putting unused PCs intohome. Telecommuting is such a prized job perk that hibernate mode saves $25-75 per PCboth parties benefit, employers by saving on salaries or annually, plus $5-10 per PC for reducedother costs and workers by saving on personal commute cooling loads. See the link below for an online calculator:expenses. also may gain a competitive edge by hiringbetter talent because they offer telecommuting as a job A related tactic is to replace energy-hoggingperk. In a May 2008 online survey, the Telework older hardware with new power-efficientCoalition found that 87% of respondents would limit a machines. Hardware manufacturers havejob search based on potential commute costs. Indeed, boosted efficiency in recent years.28% said they’re already looking for a new job because ofthe cost of commuting. For example, Intel has moved from seven- year refresh cycles in its data centers to four- year replacement cycles. The main driver wasTo help the company realize the benefits of telework, IT more compute power, but Intel also achievedmay need to implement new technologies (if they are greater energy efficiency, avoided costs fromnot already in place): Remote management so IT can be not expanding data centers and othersure home-based PCs comply with corporate policies, factors—not to mention TCO savings of atsecure remote access and new collaborative least $200 million over eight years.technologies such as VoIP (Voice over IP) and Webconferencing to make telework more appealing and One other way to boost energy efficiency iscost-effective for both workers and employers. If your to buy those with the Energy Star designation. In July 2007, the U.S. EPA tightened Energycompany evaluated telecommuting in the past, things Star requirements, calling for an 80% orhave changed. Higher penetration of residential greater power supply efficiency.broadband today makes possible the fast connectionsdesirable for worker productivity. After identifying inefficient assets, don’t stick them in storage, which you pay money toTelecommuting pinches plenty of pennies for employers. lease. Reuse the hardware elsewhere in theIn 2005, Sun Microsystems reported saving $255 million company, refurbish and sell, or get rid of it toin real estate costs over four years by eliminating or a charity or recycler.avoiding the need for 7,700 cubicles and workstations. Nortel Networks saves $22 million per year inreal estate and energy costs as a result of telecommuting employees. Lexis-Nexis, which started a4 Copyright © 2011 The FactPoint Group and Dell KACE. All rights reserved.
  • 5. telecommuting pilot in 1995, saved $6 million in the first year, and the program continues to runprofitably.At Hewlett-Packard, 70% of employees telecommute at least occasionally and nearly 13,000employees work exclusively from home offices. In 2006, HP’s full-time teleworkers saved almost 2.5million round drips, avoided 85 million miles of road travel and almost 28,000 tons of CO2 emissions.At IBM, more than a third of its 100,000-plus employees participate in work-from-home or mobileemployee programs.2. StandardizeAdopt corporate standards for different categories of software and systems. Gartner calls it“rationalizing your applications portfolio, especially if you’ve been through mergers and acquisitions.”For applications, companies get more bang for their buck when they negotiate with a single vendorthan if they spread purchases over multiple vendors. They also can shrink the cost of service desksupport by concentrating expertise on fewer applications. License management software can collectthe baseline data of what software an enterprise is currently running so executives can implement astandardization program knowing exactly what they have at the start.For systems, use policy-based management to enforce standard configurations for desktops, laptopsand servers. Standards simplify the IT environment by reducing the number of configurations thatmust be maintained. Simpler environments translate to cheaper maintenance. To sustain those savings,policy-based enforcement keeps users from accidentally or intentionally altering their configurations.3. VirtualizeMany companies have initiated server virtualization projects, but managing “virtual sprawl” from toomany virtual machines isn’t always easy. An October 2008 survey of mid-sized companies by KingResearch found that 68% of respondents had deployed server virtualization.Cost savings from virtualization, particularly of server virtualization, include buying fewer physicalmachines, reduced space requirements and lower power consumption. The King survey found 55% ofmid-sized companies cited hardware, power and space cost savings as their most importantconsiderations to justify virtualization expenses.Many enterprises have not yet exploited application or desktop virtualization, but both are on the radarof medium enterprises—30% in the King survey have adopted application virtualization, with 34%planning to do so in the next 12 months.Further, application virtualization makes software applications easy to distribute and manage becauseapplications are no longer installed on end user machines. Isolated in “virtual containers,” applicationsdo not need regression testing, and application conflicts are eliminated. Multiple versions of the sameapplication can be used simultaneously, and application upgrades are deployed easily, significantlylowering IT management costs.4. Keep a close eye on software and hardware assetsMany companies buy too many seats when they initially license software as a way to ensure they arenot out of compliance. Then they “forget,” about the extra licenses and continue to overpay. Asoftware inventory reveals what your company has licensed and how much it’s being used. With that5 Copyright © 2011 The FactPoint Group and Dell KACE. All rights reserved.
  • 6. information, IT managers can stop paying for unused licenses or redeploy them for new employeesinstead of buying new licenses.Hardware inventories serve other purposes. First, companies need to know what they own, difficultwithout a formal program. A complete hardware inventory should locate “lost” computer equipmentthat may have been plugged in a closet and forgotten about.Once all the hardware is accounted for, the enterprise can plot an asset management strategy forwhat to do with aging equipment. For example: • A high-end server in the data center being replaced with new hardware might be repurposed as a desktop machine rather than buying a new desktop. • A “ghost” asset that exists on the books but is never located in the hardware inventory might have software licenses associated with it. Stop paying for those licenses. • Move obsolete PCs out of storage—which the company pays for and where the computers are losing value over time—and refurbish, reuse, sell, recycle or donate them. In Europe, IT manufacturers are required by law to take back old equipment for recycle, and similar rules may be coming to the U.S. Proper handling of end-of-life PCs is also a Green best practice.5. Leverage the power of the communityYou can’t know everything about every issue that comes up in your work life. Reach out to colleaguesat other companies informally, through user groups or discussion boards and community sites such a June 2007 survey of IT professionals, King Research found that 93% of participants believe they dotheir jobs more efficiently and save time by using online IT communities. Clearly efficiency and savingtime carry cost benefits. The King survey, which elicited 203 responses from IT workers in a broadrange of job functions, found these estimates of time saved by using online IT communities: • 43% save 1-3 hours per week • 37% saved 3 hours or more each week • 13% less than an hour per weekCommunity-based support and learning come cheaper than formal training courses, especially thosethat require travel, or the use of paid support. The point is not to avoid all training—Web-basedtraining eliminates travel costs, but to supplement where it makes sense.6. Enable remote managementWithout remote management, managing machines at branch or home offices can be expensive.Systems managers need a way to service and manage remote computers that don’t require an ITemployee to touch them. Without remote management, productivity plummets for systems managers.Remote management is most useful for fixes such as those being done at after hours. This is true aswell for simple fixes such as changing settings or helping users with issues that would normally requirean IT professional to be physically in front of a machine.Remote management is useful in many scenarios such as the city government in Franklin, Tenn. Thecity uses 10 FTEs in IT to support 500 employees across 12 departments and locations. That includesabout 50 systems for its critical 911 communications application. “With automation, updates now take6 Copyright © 2011 The FactPoint Group and Dell KACE. All rights reserved.
  • 7. about 10 minutes each, versus 2-3 days for getting around to all the locations,” said Jason Potts,network administrator for the City.7. Automate common systems management tasksDaily tasks such as software deployment, inventory, and patch management can all be automated withthe right systems management solution. Systems managers don’t want to devote limited IT staff toroutine activities. Their goal is to free administrators to pursue higher-value activities that can improvethe bottom line, not just deploying and keeping the desktops running.Research by Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) in 2006 demonstrates how automation cansave even more for patch management and other aspects of systems management. In a survey of200-plus companies with mixed operating environments (85% with fewer than 100 servers), EMAdocumented these savings for automated vs. manual administration: • Operating systems provisioning: Manual process took as much as 200 minutes vs. 65 minutes with automation. • Application deployment: Manual process took up to 260 minutes vs. 130 minutes with automated tools. • Patch management: Manual process took as much as 31 minutes per system per week vs. 16 minutes with automated tools. • Virus and spyware management: Manual process as much as 23 minutes per system per week vs. 4 minutes with automated tools.8. Adopt an integrated approach to systems managementPiecemeal purchases of point products—one for inventory, one for asset management, another forpatch management, another for trouble tickets, etc.—cost too much and take too much of an ITadministrator’s time. Too often point products result in “swivel-chair integration,” meaning thatsomeone, most often a systems admin, takes data from one point management product and rekeys(or pastes) them into another software application. It’s the antithesis of automation.With an integrated approach to systems management, data moves easily from one application toanother, eliminating the swivel-chair approach. That’s far less labor-intensive (and thus cheaper) andless error-prone than relying on people to move the data. With an integrated solution, systemsmanagers can reduce both license costs and management time.9. Seek vendor financing on favorable termsSystems managers may not focus on vendor financing, but it could help get the purchase approved bythe finance department. With tight credit, vendors still want to sell products. In fall 2008, SAP andothers (including Microsoft) announced 0% financing deals for purchases, although that rate isavailable only to their best customers. Don’t be afraid to ask your vendors about help with financing—they want to sell products, so let them know that financing will help their cause.10. Leverage appliancesUsing virtual or hardware appliances simplifies deployment of new software tools. Appliances surfacedfirst in the network security market, where they are common way to deliver security applications.Market research firm IDC, in its September 2008 Western European Quarterly Security ApplianceTracker reportnotes that appliances “can lower costs, ease administrative overheads, facilitate7 Copyright © 2011 The FactPoint Group and Dell KACE. All rights reserved.
  • 8. management, consolidate support, scale efficiently and integrate multiple technologies into a single 1platform.”Appliances are also often available as a virtual appliance, as pure software, a dedicated virtual machine(VM) that runs under a virtualization technology, most often VMware. With either kind of appliance, thesoftware application runs without conflicts with the hardware or the operating system. Some ISVseven update appliances remotely for their customers, going beyond reducing applicationmanagement time to eliminating it.4.0 How Dell KACE Appliances Increase IT ROIThe Dell KACE™ Family of Systems Management Appliances is a key tool for systemsadministrators who are seeking to streamline their operations. From power management, to policybased enforcement, Dell KACE Appliances help organizations of all sizes save their IT administratorstime and their organization money.For example, the Dell KACE Appliance can help systems managers to “go green” environmentally andsave money. The KACE Appliance makes remote management extremely easy, making it easier forcompanies to offer telecommuting as an option to reduce costs for both companies and employees.In addition, its power management features allows system administrators to turn off machines whenthey’re not in use, reducing utility costs. In some regions, utilities offer rebates of up to $15/managedPC managed by the KACE Appliance power settings.The KACE Appliance asset management capabilities keep inventories of hardware and software up-todate, avoiding underutilized software licenses and “lost machines.” The appliance software assetmanagement monitors usage of software licenses. Systems administrators can reassign unusedlicenses to new employees or other users or stop paying for licenses not in use.In addition, the KACE Appliance makes it easy to enforce standard configurations on all machines tosimplify systems management. The appliance provides comprehensive and easy-to-use configurationmanagement and policy enforcement using scripts. Leveraging scripts, IT administrators can ensurethat “ideal” end node configurations are in place and constantly enforces. This goes a long way inpreventing maintenance on machines, saving significant time for both end users and the IT team.The KACE Appliance also has many virtualization features. First, it allows system administrators tomanage both physical and virtual environments from the same Web-based console. Next, KACEapplication virtualization simplifies distribution and management of applications because applicationsare no longer installed on end user machines. KACE Virtual Kontainers eliminate regression testing andapplication conflicts, simplify application upgrades, and allow simultaneous use of multiple versions ofthe same application.1 See ( Copyright © 2011 The FactPoint Group and Dell KACE. All rights reserved.
  • 9. How the KACE Appliance Maps to Best Practices and5.0IT SavingsBest Practice KACE Appliance DeliversGo Green Tools to save money (and reduce carbon footprints): • Telework • Remote management to support/control configurations on telecommuters’ machines, saving travel time. • Power Management • Ability to turn unused machines off overnight or in other times of no usage, saving utility costs. • Power-efficient • All-in-one bundle of systems management applications hardware removes need for separate hardware for each application, saving capital costs.Standardize Ability to enforce configuration standards on PCs eliminating manual enforcement and preventing costly changes by end users.Virtualize Ability to manage virtual or physical machines from a single console significantly reduces management overhead and saves on labor.Track assets Software license, usage tracking to identify underused licenses to right-size for saving license costs. Hardware tracking to find lost assets, redeploy them for other uses to avoid new purchases.Best practices from With AppDeploy Live, users can directly access systems managementcommunity information from, the leading online desktop software management community. Through seamless AppDeploy Live integration, significant time is saved, including time previously spent hunting through multi-site user documentation, knowledge bases and user forums.Remote management Remote management for branch offices or telecommuters saves on IT travel to fix problems at remote sites.Automate systems Through automation IT managers can move people to higher-valuemanagement tasks tasks. Timely, automated patching for better security and better compliance to reduce cost of outages are also benefits.Integrated systems Multiple applications managed from a single integrated Web interfacemanagement avoids manual “swivel chair integration.”Vendor financing Available from Dell KACE. Visit for detailsAppliances Available as a standalone hardware appliance or as a virtual appliance that runs in a VMware environment. Appliances save on management overhead.For help when problems arise, the KACE AppDeploy community site offers peer assistance to systemsadministration problems aid via message boards, knowledge bases, downloads, FAQs, is accessible directly through the KACE Appliance administrator’s interface, making iteasy to address issues as they arise.Overall, the KACE Appliance automates deployment, inventory, asset management, patchmanagement, service desk and other systems management tasks—unifying multiple systemsmanagement applications through a single Web-based interface. Systems administrators can managetheir routine responsibilities through the appliance interface, making them more efficient and freeingthem to pursue higher-value activities. The KACE Appliance core functionality boosts productivity both9 Copyright © 2011 The FactPoint Group and Dell KACE. All rights reserved.
  • 10. in IT and more broadly throughout an organization’s workforce. Increased productivity is a critical wayfor companies to survive and even thrive in tough economic times.KACE also eliminates “swivel chair” management. No longer will IT administrator’s need to move frominventory to software distribution to service desk to do their jobs: It’s all in the appliance! Further, viaintegration, administrators become even more efficient. For example, with the KACE Appliance, servicedesk and inventory are directly integrated, so administrators can click on a help ticket for a particularmachine and instantly see that computers history of problems, instantly giving the administrator all theinformation they need to solve the problem.Finally, the KACE Appliance comes as both a physical appliance and a virtual (or software-only)appliance that plugs into a VMware virtualization scheme. For the corporate beancounters, KACEoffers financing for purchases on attractive terms not to mention pricing that has a low total costwhen compared to software-only systems management alternatives.The KACE Appliance is a great way to stretch your systems management budget in difficult times. Be ithiring avoidance, hiring more development personnel (rather than more administrators) or themeasureable impact that the appliance preventative maintenance will have on your end users, onething is clear: the KACE Appliance allows companies to do more with a tight IT budget. In fact, KACE’s2010 customer survey showed that 62% of KACE Appliance users stated that they saw an ROI on theirappliance purchase in less than six months!To learn how your organization can save with KACE, register today for a complimentary ROIassessment at Copyright © 2011 The FactPoint Group and Dell KACE. All rights reserved.
  • 11. About The FactPoint GroupThe FactPoint Group is a boutique market research and consulting firm based in Silicon Valley that hasbeen helping customers use and sell technologies since 1993.www.factpoint.comDell KACE Corporate BackgroundDell (NASDAQ: DELL) creates, enhances and integrates technology and services customers count onto provide them reliable, long term value. Dell provides systems management solutions for customersof all sizes and system complexity. The award-winning Dell KACE family of appliances delivers easy-to-use, comprehensive, and affordable systems management capabilities.Dell KACE is headquartered in Mountain View, California. To learn more about Dell KACE and itsproduct offerings, please visit or call 1-877-MGMT-DONE.Helpful Links: • KACE Systems Management Appliances • KACE Systems Deployment AppliancesDell KACE Headquarters1981 Landings DriveMountain View, California 94043(877) MGMT-DONE office for all inquiries(+1) (650) 316-1050 International(650) 649-1806 faxEuropean Sales: emea@kace.comAsia Pacific Sales: apac@kace.comWPTop10ROI_04.15.2011While every effort is made to ensure the information given is accurate, Dell does not accept liability for any errors or mistakes which may arise. Specifications and other information in thisdocument may be subject to change without notice.11 Copyright © 2011 The FactPoint Group and Dell KACE. All rights reserved.