Top 10 Money Savers for 2008

Records (Mis-) Management – 20%

Another area of process improvement is that of global e-records management and information management. Companies are still maintaining a number of duplicative copies of data, in some cases more than 50 copies. Enterprises that have created golden copies and tagged others as temporary or who have consolidated the databases into shared repositories have been able to reduce storage requirements and growth, shorten the job schedule cycle, minimize e-discovery costs and risks, and better balance online and archived data.

Most IT executives are familiar with many of the technology savings but surprisingly, these same executives are not aggressively pursuing them. There are a number of short-term, quick hits IT executives can attack and therefore achieve savings in the 2008 budget cycle.

Getting Green – 10%

A very hot topic today is that of “going green.” Over the last two years, enterprises have become aware of the energy costs of operating data centers. The power costs have gone from an expense that only the facilities department cared about to one at the CEO, CFO, and boardroom level. Executives should be able to reduce data center energy costs by 10% or more.

Modernization – 40%

Companies are also addressing the cost challenge through application and system modernization, platform consolidation, and virtualization. Although most large enterprises have one or more of these efforts ongoing, savings from them are uneven. Companies can achieve operational cost savings of more than 30%, with the project break even points in the 12-to-18 month range.

Truly successful projects have taken a holistic approach to the problem and address the following key areas:

  • Number and location of data centers
  • Automation, job scheduling and workforce utilization
  • Modernization and normalization of applications
  • Number of servers and server consolidation and virtualization
  • Storage consolidation, platform types, sharing, and virtualization
  • Power and cooling
  • Network types and bandwidth
  • Outsourcing.
  • Projects of this nature have been undertaken by both HP and IBM and both parties are pointing to dramatic gains.

    Measuring Metrics – 15%

    The last of the top 10 is process management. This is back to basics for the last of the savings. IT executives need to establish meaningful measurements and then manage to them for each of the above or, for that matter, any initiative. Tasks that are tightly monitored, managed and reported on do result in a reduced time to deliver. IT executives that improve their management methods can meet the demand to “do more for less” by up to 10-to-15 percent.

    Executives have an opportune time during the fall planning cycle to re-evaluate its workforce allocations and diversity, process improvement plans, and data center operations initiatives and to adjust them to achieve greater savings. IT executives should seize the initiative and work with line of business, finance, procurement, and other senior executives to develop strategies that can help their enterprises achieve their short- and long-term goals and strategies.

    Cal Braunstein is CEO and executive director of Research for the Robert Frances Group . For more detail on these tips, go to the RFG website and follow the instructions in the RFG Risk Management Seminars box.