By Simon Piff, Associate Vice President, Enterprise Infrastructure, IDC Asia/Pacific
Lack of available funding emerged as the top challenge in leveraging IT, according to the IDC C-Suite Barometer 2015, and yet many organizations are not optimizing even the fundamentals of the operational cost formula.
All organizations strive for the best possible return on investment since this cost efficiency can provide a competitive advantage if properly leveraged. Interestingly, many organizations are able to drive deep cost efficiencies in many parts of their business, such as the supply chain, partner management, and human resources, only to find that other parts of the business waste that advantage by not having as keen a focus or where business units look at the same issue with different viewpoints. For example, IT has been driving ever greater efficiencies into the technologies and systems since their very inception. The sole purpose of IT in the early days was to increase efficiency of mundane business process, and so a good eye for such opportunities is embedded in the psyche of the IT department. However, IT runs off electrical power, and whilst power demands - and the costs - of IT systems have increased rapidly, the number of organizations that expect their IT departments to be cognizant of the power costs and also pay the power bill is almost negligible in the Asian markets. The division of responsibility has led to highly inefficient practices.
This can also be said of the approach to provisioning IT infrastructure. With so much investment tied up in datacenters across the region, it is not surprising that IT management want to maximize the useful life of this investment. However, all too often infrastructure that is by no means a critical business enabler lands inside the datacenter to slurp up the precious and few resources of the IT team.
Organizational attitudes toward the IT department and attitudes within the IT management team need to adapt to the new world. This means hybrid infrastructure is the architecture of choice. The cost benefits alone can drive some significant benefits, but such strategies need to be adopted holistically so as to fully recognize the opportunity and efficiencies that such an approach can deliver. Hybrid as a strategy works because it still leverages the existing investments but allows opportunities for agile growth, better efficiencies in key IT services, ability to leverage external skillsets for key areas and drives a fresh approach to internal IT management.
In Asia Pacific, we have all but stopped cleaning our own homes, despite the return — a nicely cleaned residence — is considered a basic hygiene factor and essential to ongoing existence. Many households outsource the cleaning to various individuals and organizations as we believe our time is better used elsewhere. It is time this attitude was applied to more parts of the IT department, since the services and resources to achieve this are now in abundance and there are clearly more efficient ways of running IT than the way most are still doing today. Check out the third and final installment of the CenturyLink-sponsored IDC Infographic series, “Driving Cost Efficiency in the Enterprise,” which takes a closer look at the IT cost efficiency imperative.
With the lack of available funds being a constant pressure on CIOs, validated by the IDC C-Suite Barometer 2015, it will be the leading organizations that realize early the benefits of working with external parties to manage an ever increasing cost base.