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Simplifying IT pays off with big savings, better business success

Dan Muse | July 9, 2014
Many CIOs are watching their worlds collide. Consumer technologies such as smartphones, tablets and social networking tools as well as new cloud services are coexisting with legacy applications, server rooms and aging network infrastructure. This creates a complexity that IT hasn't seen before.

With all the challenges IT leaders face, how can CIOs reduce complexity? IDC reports that organizations are taking multiple approaches, including the following:

  • Consolidation and rationalization of applications, systems and data centers.
  • Application modernization (replacing legacy applications).
  • Unifying operating systems to a single environment.
  • Outsourcing to third-parties and cloud computing providers.
  • Deploying better automation and integration tools and technologies.

Breaking Down the Benefits

Below IDC breaks down the per-user savings in six categories. The amounts are based on the nine companies in the study and IDC cautions that actual benefits will vary by organization and industry.

Knowing you should simplify IT is one thing. Knowing where to begin is another. To help move in the right direction, IDC has developed what it calls a Simplification Road Map, which it says will help companies reduce complexity in their IT infrastructure. Key components of the road map include these four processes:

Start at the top: Secure strong executive support because successful simplification projects require deep-seated change, not only in the IT organization but also often among users and lines of the top, according to IDC.

Embrace an entrepreneurial spirit: IDC reports that companies it interviewed for the study found it best to use an entrepreneurial approach consisting of replacing outdated infrastructure or building out new IT infrastructure to support new business opportunities. IDC writes. "You can't simplify infrastructure by adding new layers of integration, UIs, or applications."

Head to the cloud: IDC says that sourcing services from third-party service providers and/or the cloud service providers with the necessary scope, scale and expertise not only can free up valuable resources to focus on core operations but also can improve the quality of services for end users

Be agile: Agile development, IDC says, enables organizations and keeps pace with more rapid change. Key success factors include getting down to the user level and documenting specific processes and pain, collaborating with customers and end users, and adapting quickly to changing circumstances.


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