Gartner’s 10 actions to reduce IT infrastructure and operations

IT infrastructure and
(I&O) represents
approximately 60 percent of total IT spending worldwide, so with IT budgets
remaining tight, it’s no wonder that I&O cost-cutting pressure continues to
be intense

“When it comes to I&O cost
reduction, there is no ‘magic bullet,’ but best results can be achieved by
implementing as fully as possible the 10 key cost reductions we have
identified,” said Jay Pultz, vice president and distinguished analyst at

Gartner analysts said
that due to priority conflicts and resource constraints, few I&O leaders
said they have implemented 50 percent or more of the total cost reduction
opportunities these 10 key actions offer. However, depending on where an
organization is now, fully implementing these 10 cost-cutting suggestions can
provide significant savings.

Defer Noncritical Key Initiatives

I&O leaders need to re-examine their key
initiatives to determine which ones to focus on as near-term priorities. 

Re-examine Networking Costs

When it comes to I&O spending, the data
center and the network claim the lion’s share of costs. Because nearly half of
the network expenses go to telecom service providers (TSPs), network managers
need to continue to renegotiate contracts with these vendors to ensure that
their contracted rates are market-based. 

Consolidate I&O

I&O consolidation is closely related to
standardization, integration and virtualization. Data centers are rising in
importance, and Gartner expects this trend to continue throughout this decade,
as server rationalization, hardware growth and cost containment drive the
consolidation of enterprise data processing sites into larger data centers.

Virtualize I&O

Servers run at very low average utilization
levels (less than 15 percent). Virtualization software increases utilization
typically by fourfold or more, which means for a given workload that can be
virtualized, a company can typically reduce the number of physical servers by
fourfold. Conservatively, this means hardware and energy costs are each reduced
by more than 50 percent.

Reduce Power and Cooling Needs

In the past, newly built data centers often
opened with huge areas of pristine white floor space, fully powered and backed
up by an uninterruptible power supply (UPS), water- and air-cooled, and mostly
empty. With the cost of mechanical and electrical equipment, as well as the
price of power, this model no longer works. New design approaches can result in
data centers that utilize significantly less power, take up less space and cost
much less.  

Contain Storage Growth

Compute, networking and storage capacity are
all growing at annual double-digit rates, with storage growing the fastest by
far. Gartner predicts that, by 2016, enterprises will install 850 percent more
terabytes than they have installed in 2011. With capacity growth far
outstripping cost declines, tighter control is required. Multiple approaches
need to be adopted  including the use of storage virtualization, automated
tiering and storage resource management (SRM) tools.

Push Down IT Support

Support for end users and the enterprise
typically is about 8 percent of total IT spending, to reduce costs,
organizations need to drive those support calls down to the lowest tier that
can satisfactorily resolve users’ issues.


Streamline IT Operations

I&O accounts for approximately 50 percent
of the total enterprise IT head count, and most of the I&O staff is
involved in operational processes of a day-to-day and tactical nature. To
contain head count and associated costs, these processes need to be streamlined
and as efficient as possible. This typically entails implementing ITIL, the de
facto standard framework in IT operations. The principal goal is to improve
service management and quality, but ITIL has been known to reduce operating
expenses as well.

Enhance IT Asset Management (ITAM)

ITAM by itself doesn’t reduce I&O costs;
however, it is a very effective tool to identify and assess cost reduction
opportunities. IT asset repositories are generally the most effective tools to
help in this endeavor. These tools can maintain dates, manage changes to assets
and send out reminder emails to ensure that the life cycle process is
proactively managed.

Optimize Multisourcing

Sourcing is perhaps the most strategic
decision facing I&O leaders today. The decision is not as simple as whether
to outsource or insource all of I&O.
playing to the strength of available staff, defining
clear lines of demarcation, keeping the number of vendors involved to a small,
manageable number and determining what makes solid financial sense.

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