13 Ways to Cut IT Costs Now

With the economy headed the direction it is for at least another quarter or two, many in the IT industry are being tasked with doing more with less as we begin heading toward 2009.

“When you’re talking about saving money in IT organizations, they’re in a tough spot, because something like 60 percent of an IT organization budget is made up of fixed costs,” says Ian Hayes, principal with Clarity Consulting, an IT consulting firm.

However, in that remaining 40 percent, most organizations can still find ways to cut unnecessary expenses, suspend costly processes and make their departments better off in the long run.

Baseline examines a baker’s dozen of strategies to not only cut costs quickly, but to take advantage of this downturn as a way to streamline a department. Some are easier than others to implement, and some may not necessarily be feasible to departments with completely frozen budgets, but they all will leave an IT department more efficient in the long run.

1. Data Deduplication

Even as storage hardware costs continue to drop, the explosion of corporate data and information management costs outstrip these savings. Many of these costs are unavoidable, but there is one instance where IT executives can make a dent: duplicate data. Through the chaos of users’ day-to-day operations and IT’s disaster recovery backup efforts, data and documents have a nasty habit of multiplying  carbon-copy style within the storage and backup infrastructure. Trim storage hardware and management costs through the use of data deduplication technology.

2. Trim Compliance Reporting

Compliance is like a vendor’s secret password to get into the customer’s budgetary lockbox.

“Every vendor in the world out there is pitches their tool as helping with compliance and you need to do this for compliance,” Hayes says. “But if you really sit back and  look at it a lot of this stuff is very very tenuously associated with compliance.”

He thinks that organizations would do well to reexamine what they are spending on compliance and reporting and trim down on excess reporting processes. Doing so can cut down on staff resources, disk space and even the licensing for the software that does the reporting.

“The amount of time the average administrator spends on doing reporting its just incredible,” Hayes says. “The question I would ask is, one, are those reports truly necessary? And, two, does anybody actually look at the reports even if they’re necessary?’”