If you’re out to trim spending, making the wrong cost-cutting decisions when it comes to IT can have a negative impact on your business.
Whether you’re in an upturn or a downturn cycle, cost cutting is always going to be important. The successful organisations are those that use management to get a better picture; if you can’t see into your existing cost structure, how do you know where to cut costs? If you don’t have an idea of demand, how are you going to know how to prioritise? And if you don’t know how customers are interacting with your applications, how do you know where improvements are needed; how do you know where you need additional capacity?
Unfortunately, organisations often don’t have that kind of detailed picture because they’re working with a legacy of applications they’ve accumulated over the years, often using disparate operating platforms.
Enterprise IT Management (EITM) is what’s needed to streamline IT while determining how it can enhance business results. EITM can make the details of a number of areas visible to provide a complete picture of what IT can do to maximise business value. In terms of managing IT costs, EITM emphasises the measured use of innovations like automation and virtualisation, rather than implementing them willy-nilly. For example, using technology with a layer of intelligence allows organisations to dynamically manage capacity in virtualised environments, so it can go where it’s needed, when it’s needed. Automation can relieve IT staff of the most time-consuming, errorcausing tasks.
As global financial institutions have been rocked to their foundations, risk management becomes an increasingly important component of the EITM solution. Not only is it likely that companies will have to deal with an increasing number of regulations in the near future; they must also correctly prioritise the IT investments they’ll need to make. Automation can be used to ease the task of complying with current and future regulations.
Risk also comes in the form of potential security breaches. With a workforce that’s growing increasingly mobile, organisations can no longer rely on their old solutions to meet today’s new security challenges. If we look at the way businesses are starting to move, people within organisations are becoming far more mobile; they’re working more from home, they’re demanding the use of collaboration and productivity tools, they’re even using applications like Facebook and their own techniques to drive their productivity. That has a major impact on security, because traditional security methods and policies cannot cope with social behaviours that extend beyond an organisational fi rewall. An approach better suited to enterprises is going to be critical as organisations move forward.
Another factor affecting security, including the bottom line of businesses, is the growth in online applications with which consumers are interacting. This trend requires organisations to become more customer-centric in how they develop and manage these applications, to keep up with an increasingly sophisticated client base.
In these challenging economic times, businesses need to make the right tradeoffs as they look to IT as a way to reduce costs while still supporting growth. Organisations must have the proper level of visibility into performance, security, resource allocation and other critical factors in order to get a complete picture of how IT can enhance business results. By bringing together technological innovations, risk management, Application Performance Management solutions and more, EITM can help ensure the difficult choices are also the right ones.
Peter Waterhouse is Director, Product Marketing at CA, and assists in the development of strategy for CA’s Business Service Optimisation solutions, with special emphasis on IT Service Management, best practices (including ITIL) and IT governance. Peter is a regular contributor of business technology articles and white papers.
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