Getting the Most From Your IT Budget

Getting the most from your IT budgetEspecially during tough times, we look to trim our operating budgets.  Efficient use of our valuable resources is just smart business and there are many ways to manage costs without sacrificing performance.  Below are a few ideas that you can use immediately with a minimum of time and investment.

  1. Recycle software licenses – It’s worth the effort to record all software purchases so you can easily transfer and upgrade licenses.  Start with an inventory of all existing software and then be sure to update as you add and replace licenses.  Often software licenses can be harvested as hardware is retired.  When purchasing, compare the cost of transferable to non-transferable licenses.  Be sure to keep the necessary documentation with your master list in a file.  To save paper, use electronic files.
  2. Optimize printing – Start with evaluating what you print and eliminate unnecessary or duplicate hardcopy.  In today’s office, most paperwork can be saved electronically eliminating the need for a printed copy.  When using electronic records, be sure that your system includes a common repository for all records and a rigorous backup strategy. Additionally, share network printers in workgroups.  Save on paper costs by using lighter weight paper for internal documents.  You can use paper tray selection through Print Properties.  Multifunction printers that print, copy, scan and fax might be a good investment.  Always evaluate printers that meet your needs by using the total cost per page (TCPP).
  3. Server virtualization – Use existing server hardware and add a “virtual” server to improve performance or add features. Virtualization allows you to house two or more “virtual” servers on the same hardware.  You can also consolidate servers into a virtual configuration.
  4. Application virtualization – Separate the application configuration layer from the OS in a desktop environment, reduce application conflicts, bring patch and upgrade management to a central location and accelerate the deployment of new applications and updates.
  5. Desktop virtualization – Rather than using your desktop PC to run applications, use your server to host all applications and data for the desktops.  This client-server model is advantageous in many ways.  You can deploy desktops quickly on a basic machine and may double the useful life of PCs since they need minimum resources. On existing systems, you may be able upgrade your entire system by adding a server without changing any desktop PCs.

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