As technology progresses, management of that technology naturally gets more complicated as a result. While cloud technology and more user-friendly devices mean less of a hassle for consumers of the technology, these innovative technologies ultimately translate into increased management challenges for businesses.
In spite of the increased difficulties surrounding IT management, there are ways to simplify IT so that it can be managed efficiently on the back-end. IT complexity is not helpful to businesses for many reasons.
The Simplification of IT Management
A recent study conducted by IDC examined the effects of simpler IT on businesses and discovered many benefits associated with it.
The study looked closely at nine companies in entirely different industries. Across all nine companies—each of which had an average of 23,000 users—IDC found that a total of $83 million was saved when IT was simplified. That amount translates to roughly $3,610 for each user.
A reduction in costs wasn’t the only benefit that was discovered. The IDC study also concluded that the companies involved saw improvements in customer service, strategic business planning, and marketing because less focus was needed for IT.
Complexity in IT is dangerous for businesses, the study found, because of the costs its operation demands. In addition, the IT staff faces many challenges in providing high-quality services.
Identifying IT Complexities
IT complexity doesn’t necessarily mean managing it improperly. On the contrary, complexity is often required in order for businesses to succeed in the beginning, according to the IDC study. The logic behind this is that in order to meet high business demands, companies should be able to manage increased IT complexity as well.
IDC lists a number of factors that influence complexity, including the need to meet higher business demands, support of mobile devices, decentralized business, corporate merging and acquisition, reliance on legacy systems, and increased rates of change.
The key to combating these factors is through eliminating unrealistic assumptions about a company’s IT capabilities. Many employees believe that managing complex IT will be an easy task, viewing it solely from a user’s perspective.
To help businesses understand where they need to initiate the simplification of IT, IDC has created a guide for companies.
The four-step road map wants professionals to do the following:
- Gain endorsement from higher-ups in the company to help secure the necessary changes in the business.
- Work to replace older infrastructures or expand newer ones in order to help the business grow entrepreneurially.
- Enlist the help of third-party cloud service providers to make IT management even easier.
- Increase the speed of development to help the business keep up with continued changes and adaptation.
Using this road map, many businesses should be able to keep IT from becoming more complex than it has to be.
IDC also listed the specific cost benefits that happen with simplified IT.
The reductions in cost per user are these:
- $900 in IT infrastructure costs
- $860 in IT staff productivity
- $690 in operating profit
- $520 in end-user productivity resulting from improved business operations
- $480 in business operations
- $160 in end-user productivity resulting from reduced downtime
These costs will vary from business to business based on the industry, size of the company, and other elements, but the benefits of simplifying IT are universal and worth the effort.