he concept of optimizing IT sounds logical, but opinions vary on what the term “IT optimization” really means. What does it really mean and what are the benefits to IT departments and the organizations they serve? Optimization is a two-fold IT asset management solution that aims to reduce costs associated with delivering IT solutions, alongside leveraging current IT assets to provide organizational value. The blending of these two philosophies generates IT optimization that truly reduces costs, mitigates business risk, and lays the foundation for new business opportunities.
What is IT Optimization?
Optimization should begin with an IT infrastructure assessment, which is basically a data center discovery service – finding and inventorying anything with an IP address: servers, desktops, routers, switches and much more. Cataloging server utilization determines which servers can be consolidated, virtualized, or removed. Software identification provides resolution to any issues with compatibility or licensing. As a result of this IT infrastructure assessment, organizations are able to identify overlapping IT resources within business segments and eliminate redundant or obsolete systems and applications.
After the data center discovery phase, you can begin standardizing IT processes that align with business strategies. Standardization is essential for IT optimization, as it:
- Centralizes management and maintenance of key IT applications and infrastructure,
- Standardizes automatic deployment of critical applications,
- Simplifies new technology integrations, and
- Mitigates network security risks.
Why Does Optimization Matter?
The standardization of IT processes allows organizations to implement enterprise-shared services and collaboration across business segments, to more easily achieve organizational goals. Leveraging the power of enterprise systems creates organizational value by eliminating costs associated with managing redundant systems and applications. This systematic approach toward a standardized enterprise infrastructure results in faster deployments, cost-effective license structure, and system integrations, which help to improve real-time transactions and provide real-time data analytics. Truly integrated systems provide timely data analytics that offer organizational leaders insight, helping them to make intelligent business decisions.
Other benefits of IT optimization are cost savings through workload consolidation and associated reduction in power and cooling costs. Optimization can also provide a launching pad for other initiatives aimed at improving efficiencies and taking further cost out of the data center – e.g. performance tuning, virtualization, and even data center consolidation/relocation.
It’s important to highlight that optimization isn’t just for the benefit of IT departments, but for the entire enterprise. While IT departments will achieve more effective IT asset management and realize reduced operating costs, the more significant benefit might be the value business segments experience, such as improvements to transactional business processes.
Have you performed an IT optimization in your organization? Share your experience and the benefits your company realized in the comments.