Stark farewell to my naked friend

Forced to farewell the days of big projects, big bucks and big IT shops, IT managers may be feeling somewhat naked without the cushioning comfort of a mammoth CRM or ERP implementation (and what the hell were those ERP projects anyway?).

Despite feeling a little left out in the cold, IT managers must stride boldly ahead into the uncertain world of squeezed budgets and shrinking CFO support.

That's right, go ahead and start hollering IT's new mantra: Doing More with Less, or simply let 'em know you're going to give 'em more bang for their bucks.

Yep, throw down that shield of technology hype that's protected you from the ROI monster for so long and respond to the boardroom battle cry of: "get a return on IT expenditure".

Let 'em call you neurotic for becoming a bandwidth miser or ISP scrooge, but hey, every cent counts if you're going to make it across this new frontier, baby.

Instead of yearning for the good old days (of just a couple of years ago), it's time to check out some technologies that can actually save cash.

In all honesty, most companies manage bandwidth pretty badly, but there is software out there to handle congestion and prioritise data.

The attraction of bandwidth management is that it lets organisations defer expensive infrastructure changes.

Next on the list is an area that is ripe for big savings: smarter desktop management. This means no new purchases: standardising desktops can knock up to 10 per cent off IT budgets. And don't forget the desktop products that can manage the lifecycle of a computer.

Thirdly, pinch pennies with network policies. Ignore the remarks of "despot", as you march past users and set up rules that dictate which users, departments or applications deserve network priority at which times of the day. The software sets up the network to behave in accordance with the policies and alerts IT shops to unexpected spikes in usage.

Once that is in hand, get stingy with storage. Wasting storage space is a pretty widespread practice, and don't forget to play scrooge with your ISPs and any other suppliers you may have, including vendors; maybe it's time to renegotiate that contract you signed back in the heady days of Y2K.

There is an orgy of justification going on out there. IT managers have to explain every dollar spent so, stripped of big-project protection, show 'em your wares!

Copyright © 2002 IDG Communications, Inc.

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