Simple Steps for Squeezing Savings from IT Budgets, from Ntirety Inc.

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Companies can find simple savings on technology that are otherwise overlooked in robust times. From reviewing licensing and support agreements to questioning the need for technology upgrades, corporations can keep their information technology fully functioning and save resources.

As economic woes on Wall Street impact businesses across the nation and world, companies can find simple savings on technology that are otherwise overlooked in robust times, says Michael Corey, the CEO and founder of Ntirety Inc., a pioneer in remote database administration. From reviewing licensing and support agreements to questioning the need for technology upgrades, corporations can keep their information technology fully functioning and save resources.

"I have witnessed the hidden waste that goes unnoticed in corporate IT budgets. It's there if you know where to look, and cutting the waste can free up dollars for other initiatives without impacting the business," said Corey, who has founded two managed services firms and is a recognized expert in database administration. "The good news is there are more choices today than ever before on how a company can provide the technology infrastructure it needs to stay competitive. It's a matter of making choices that maximize those dollars and keeps flowing the information the business needs to stay competitive."

In a message to clients posted on his blog, michaelcorey.ntirety.com, Corey outlines seemingly simple, yet often overlooked, steps for squeezing savings from technology budgets. Corey's advice:

1. Cut unneeded software licenses

Check your licenses and make sure you are not paying for ones you don't use. If you have eight licenses to Salesforce, but only need five, that is waste hidden in the technology budget. It's worse if you have 50 antivirus subscriptions, but only needed 35. Given the various software licenses companies require, unused licenses can waste tens of thousands of dollars annually.

Cutting out unused licenses can reduce costs without negatively impacting the business. And if your company unfortunately has layoffs, remember to reduce licenses as head count drops.

2. Use your technology or lose it

Many companies purchase technology with the best intentions, but never actually deploy it. Where it makes sense, brush the dust off and start using it. For example, many businesses have Microsoft SharePoint - it came with the server license - but they don't use it to its fullest potential. You might be able to get more efficiency from the dollars already spent by using it fully.

If you bought technology and deploying it no longer makes sense, double check that you are not paying support fees on it. Often, companies acquire technology that is packaged with free additional software. What a deal! The catch is you may be paying for ongoing maintenance of the so-called free software, which you may not even be using because you never really wanted it in the first place.

3. Do you need a support group?

There can be such a thing as too much help. It's time to review your support network and ask these questions:
Are you paying for 24-7 support when you can get by with support during normal business hours?
Do you need to hire a new database administrator when you can get a team of DBAs to remotely manage the database at a fraction of the cost of a new employee? You should ask the same question about support for desktop environments. Is remote support more efficient than in-house?
Does it make sense to maintain an in-house email infrastructure when it can be bought by the head, at a fraction of the cost, from a third-party?

4. Invest now or later?

If you have the option to upgrade your database, ask yourself whether you really need to? Would it be better to manage with your current version and wait until a game-changing upgrade comes along?

You should also ask whether the upgrade requires new hardware, a potentially hidden expense that may be a budget buster. (New technology projects are notorious for rising budgets because of unforeseen expenses, so make sure you fully vet project plans for all costs.)

You will also want to reconsider other technology upgrades, such as:
Is now the right time to invest in that new VOIP phone system?
Is now the right time to build customized technology for specific business needs, or can you live with a cheaper, off-the-shelf product that is workable, but not perfect?

About Ntirety

Ntirety Inc., remote database administrators based in Dedham, Mass., provides U.S.-based professionals leveraging best-of-breed technologies at an affordable monthly cost to proactively monitor, manage and optimize customers' Oracle and Microsoft SQL Server databases.

For more information about Ntirety, visit http://www.ntirety.com, and read founder Michael Corey's blog at http://michaelcorey.ntirety.com.

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