Linda W. Perkins

Making Every IT Dollar Count in a Tight Economy

Percento Technologies - February 04, 2016

There is no doubt that every time the economy feels the squeeze, so does the information technology industry. Even IT security, which becomes even more important to mitigate risks of theft and downtime, finds itself lower on the priority list than it should in corporate budgets.

The recent downturn in oil prices is hitting hard, with layoffs being announced in more than just the energy sector. Organizations are tightening their belts, holding onto their cash, and seeking ways to operate at peak efficiency.

So, if you’re a corporate executive or IT manager looking to reduce costs while still maintaining a solid IT infrastructure, what are you to do? Here are a couple of thoughts worth considering:

If layoffs are inevitable, make sure you fill the gaps. In information technology, it’s not always possible to do the same amount of work with fewer people. Most IT departments already operate with thin productivity margins, so layoffs may have a significantly negative impact if not handled correctly. Using managed services is an effective, efficient way to fill in the gaps by enabling you to cover all of your bases, with multiple levels of expertise, for less than the cost of one full-time salary.

Keep your IT security up-to-date. Just because you may not be able to implement your dream security system right now doesn’t mean it’s OK to skimp on the basics. Cyber threats are a very real and present danger, but can be kept at bay with relative ease by keeping your operating systems, anti-virus/anti-spyware software and intrusion prevention systems current with the latest updates and patches.

Take advantage of software as a service (SaaS). One way to cut costs while still leveraging the best tools is to check into software-as-a-service models. Deploying software this way enables you to cut initial capital expenditures and long implementation cycles by paying monthly for a pre-built solution in the cloud. Most packages can still be customized and regular updates are often included without needing to go through the annual license renewal process.

Consider cloud storage and outsourced hosting. For companies hosting large IT systems, facility costs can be a big concern. It’s more than just hardware. It’s storage space, cooling systems, and staffing 24×7 to maintain uptime. Moving servers to a data center, where overhead costs are shared by multiple tenants, is a good way to economize. Many companies are eliminating hardware costs all together, moving data storage to the cloud where it can be fully hosted by a third party. Hybrid cloud systems are also gaining in popularity.

With smart strategies and planning, you can keep your information technology infrastructure strong even in the tightest economy.

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