Reduce IT cost, yeah sure


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Once a month or maybe once per quarter, depending on whether you are SMB or a little bigger, you get the shock of your life when you get the power bill. The initial shock dissipates quickly with the amount of items on the days ‘to do’ list, but the initial reaction is always……”jeeeeezus that’s high, why is it so high? We have to do something about that”, but we never do, we authorise the payment and get on with the next really important thing.

In the 70’s nearly everything was paper based. The 80’s gave us some word processing and accounting but I still recall the credit team had immense folders of tractor feed A3 ledgers to follow up the debtors. There was no way of imagining that everybody would have a computer for their work but here we are. Organisations have been forced to submit and engage a team, which stray from their core business, of experts in I.T just to keep their systems fast enough for the users, meet operational needs and allow the business to engage in commerce which is why they are there.

In the naughties, once the Y2K gypsies had skedaddled, there was major emphasis put into delivering technology faster and more reliable, as a means of securing competitive advantage or at the very least keeping up with the competition. From every area of the business, the I.T area is ultimately responsible for delivery of the business systems. I.T is responsible for the accounting software; SQL databases; email and internet. Accounting systems are mandatory for the ability of an organisation to invoice for services performed and for the management of collection from customers and payment to creditors. CRM, XRM, Sharepoint and a plethora of other software have been introduced as business grows. The growth in mobile phones and applications meant that this too was moved into the realm of I.T.

The Computer Room aka Comms Room in an organisation is the nerve centre, the inner sanctum, the area where all of the business intelligence resides. Access is heavily restricted and authority levels are limited. This specialised area is of utmost significance and absolutely mission critical to the running of the business. You are forced to have in place redundant pathways and equipment on hot standby, together with Disaster Recovery measures to protect, backup and replicate the data in the event of equipment failure, act of God or human interference.

These days we are measure new generations in technology in months rather than years and each piece of equipment procured as a capital purchase must have a ROI case performed. ROI is the acronym given to the term of the capital acquisition at which time in its life cycle the equipment has paid for itself. In the past equipment was manufactured to be quicker, sleeker and faster without consideration of the ‘green’ aspects or the efficiency of the equipment. The heat and power output of this equipment was such that the air conditioning, backup power and UPS needed to be significantly capable of being able to ensure the continuity of the equipment which in any other environment would quite literally cook itself, taking down the network and the information as well as causing loss of ability to trade.

Everybody seems to be banging on these days about cutting I.T costs. In the most of cases they just rattle off ‘motherhood’ stuff designed to give the impression that they are on your side, however, for the most part they are unable to quantify the savings – it is just a statement. It is generally about them, not about you.

Acronyms are now coming to life. Saas, CaaS, ITaaS, PaaS, XaaS, Eaas……what next….WtfaaS
SaaS – Software as a Service
CaaS – Computing as a Service
ITaaS – IT as a Service
PaaS – Platform as a Service
XaaS – where X = Anything;
EaaS – Everything as a Service

So everything is now available as a Service.

Virtualisation is what we mean as a way of reducing ongoing I.T costs. Take your servers into the cloud, with minimal requirement necessary on site. It takes away the costs without taking away the access to everything in your database and your specific business intelligence. End of Life hardware issues go away, ROI issues go away, no more overloaded servers, you are now protected from downtime and disaster and power consumption and cooling requirements. All these costs drop like a stone. The significant thing is that the business does not suffer, au contraire, the business is able to expand with Disaster Recovery, Backup and scaleable expansion all in place. You are also able to comply in terms of the statutory requirement to store your data for X years. What is really cool about Virtualisation is that you pay for what you use, and expand or contract painlessly as required.

Virtualisation is a good investment in the future and in your business; you have an I.T solution that ticks all of the boxes. Let’s face it you are in the business of business, not I.T.

Bruce de Graaf, PHF AATC
Security Professional; Board Member - Sydney City Bomb Squad; Business Owner; Director of First Impressions; Past President of the Rotary Club of Crows Nest; Mentor Raise Foundation; Downhill Skateboard Racer; World Champion Football Player (World Masters Games 2009); CRM Super User


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