IT basics: Cost optimization for small and medium business

IT basics: Cost optimization for small and medium business

Summary: IT must always remember to focus on core elements of service delivery and project execution. To gain respect from the business, maintain a high level of operational excellence within IT.

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Much of my work centers how enterprise technology affects the business parts of an organization. For this reason, I frequently write about cloud, social, and mobile as catalysts for innovation and business transformation. 

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Although these innovation topics are crucial to the long-term success of IT and the CIO, we must never forget the basics. Without solid operations and the ability to deliver projects on time and within budget, it is virtually impossible for IT to gain peer status with the business. To be clear on this point: IT success requires a basic level of operational excellence and ability to execute. Business executives will listen to a CIO who delivers the basics really well.

The importance of basic IT operations means it is worthwhile to review topics such as infrastructure, productivity based on technology, efficiency, cost savings, and establishing strong relations between IT and lines of business. For smaller organizations, in particular, these issues are the day-to-day lifeblood of IT activities.

I recently participated in a conversation on these issues with Preston James, Global Director of Enterprise Technologies at Dell and Alisa Swann, Business Productivity Solution Specialist at Microsoft. We discussed the following topics:

  • Using IT to drive profitability and efficiency
  • Implementing costs savings by standardizing the IT environment
  • Opportunities associated with cloud and virtualization
  • Balancing long- and short-term decision making
  • Identifying business needs related to hardware and software procurement
  • Managing implementations to achieve success

The conversation touched on best practices related to running an excellent IT operation, with emphasis on cost optimization for small and medium organizations. The entire video is embedded below.

Just for fun, here are a couple of behind the scenes photos from the video session.

Dell_Webcast_102412_02
Photo credit: Mediavision

 

Dell_Webcast_102412_03
Photo credit: Mediavision

 

Topics: SMBs, CXO, Enterprise Software, IT Priorities, NextGen CIO

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  • Leveraging IT to Drive Profitability

    A great reason to wake up in the morning!
    Brian Wade
  • Getting software to meet needs

    Targeting software development or acquisition towards meeting actual needs of an organization has multiplier effect. It does not only drive profitability and efficiency. It also saves cost and opens a gate to the cloud and to virtualization. In developing nations, dearth of in-house software specialists necessitates initial purchase, but dwindling budgets and organizational peculiarities make software adaptation imperative. Software development in such environments may be done at a consortium level where similar organizations pool resources to develop or adapt software to serve common purpose.

    In University of Nigeria, for example, a National University Management Information System (NUMIS) is in use. NUMIS was developed by Management Information System (MIS) Units of Nigeria's universities in National Universities Commission (NUC). The objectives are: (a) To standardize the system of obtaining reports and statistical information from various universities on student, staff, and finance matters; (b) To record such information on disks or tapes at user universities and send to NUC for information storage, analysis and retrieval; (c) To ensure that such information are accurate and timely; (d) To organize for planning, budgeting and decision making; (e) To help the universities put in place an effective management system and improve utilization of resources. To meet its particular needs, being a very large university, University of Nigeria migrated NUMIS from its original DBase IV environment to Visual Fox, reprogramming the package completely from stand-alone to network version. A LAN was established with more than 10 systems in order to speed up data capture. As use of a centralized pool of data entry operators proved not good enough, the data capture was decentralized. NUMIS implementation was then moved to academic departments, and the Registrar's Office was encouraged to use the software. The partnership of MIS Unit, Registrar's Office and academic departments helped to achieve the objectives of the NUMIS to a reasonable extent. More information can be obtained from http://www.unn.edu.ng/units/management-information-systems-mis.
    Chris Prince Udochukwu Njoku