IT strategies that
can save big bucks
EWEEK RECOMMENDS SEVERAL TECHNOLOGY
AND BUSINESS MODELS THAT CAN HELP COMPANIES
WEATHER BAD ECONOMIC TIMES AND STAY COMPETITIVE
By Karen D. Schwartz
For companies that aren’t According to IDC, businesses will fit from offloading tasks, allowing them
flush with cash—and for spend $20 billion on server hardware tofocusoncorebusiness andremoving
any company girding for between now and 2010. Sixty-eight per- maintenance and equipment costs.
an economic downturn— cent of that will be spent on servers par- One area of potential outsourc-it’s important to keep on top of tech- titioned for virtualization; the number ing is IT services, in which a hired
nologies that save money, both in the of virtual servers is expected to grow by company offers unlimited techni-short and long term. Here are cal support for a fixed cost.
some of the technology and Another area is managed
business models that are con- security services, in which
sidered to be among the best a company handles every
at helping companies retain aspect of security for a com-their hard-earned profits: pany, from identity manage-
Unify communications. ment and dealing with denial-With the ability to com- of-service attacks to firewall
bine VOIP (voice over IP), services and managed desk-instant messaging, e-mail, top security. And, of course,
cell phones and PDAs into a there is always the increas-system of real-time commu- ingly popular SAAS (software
nication, efficiency improves as a service) model.
and customer satisfaction Go green. Green-friendly
rises. The concept is so hot activities such as server virtu-that the Computing Tech- alization, managing the power
nology Industry Association of office equipment and replac-reports that two-thirds of ing CRT monitors with more
businesses with separate voice and 41 percent CAGR (compound annual energy-efficient displays also are
data networks recognize the busi- growth rate) over the same period. great for the bottom line.
ness value of converged communica- It’s that consolidation that really Although there are costs associated
tions solutions, and 17 percent have saves money: By running systems with going green, payback comes in
already taken the plunge. on fewer servers, businesses reduce less than two years, experts say.
Virtualize. Virtualizing servers equipment and IT labor costs, as well Look outside. Sometimes admitting
solves problems in the data center. as power and cooling costs. Other that you can’t do it all yourself can
Virtualization can help in creating cost savings include software license save real money. Hiring an external
highly available servers, improving reductions in areas such as anti-virus, consultant to evaluate a company’s
disaster recovery and consolidating backup and operating systems. technology needs, for example, while
redundant equipment. Outsource. Even companies with not cost-free, can be well worth the