In its most recent forecast, technology consultancy Gartner Inc predicted that worldwide enterprise IT spending will reach $2.679t in 2013, with banking, communications, media and manufacturing expected to spend the most. Although this marks a paltry 2.5% increase in spending from last year, it underscores the fact that companies are devoting ever more resources to technology. While some of this is driven by necessity, as many corporates struggle to stay relevant, a great deal is also driven by the overwhelming hype around new fangled IT solutions. In response to the constant bombardment of information, many CIOs tend to bloat their budgets and purchase the latest and greatest in enterprise technology, without first exploring where existing inefficiencies lie. Rather than becoming more efficient, enterprise IT simply becomes more expensive.
Tim James, Director of SustainableIT, says that inefficient IT systems are the norm, rather than the exception in SA. He cites energy wastage as an example: “Anecdotally, I would say that as many as four out of five large corporates still keep their PCs on 24×7, or at the very least don’t actively shut them down with the requisite tooling,” he explains. “This is largely due to IT departments’ reluctance to modify existing behaviours and embrace energy efficiency. Arguments around having to keep infrastructure on for after-hours updates, etc, are simply not an excuse and management tools can be implemented to allow IT to wake devices remotely when required.”
Another major culprit when it comes to wasteful enterprise IT management practices is software usage. According to James, most companies have software deployed that is not being used, as very few actively meter application usage and if they do, they normally only do this on a fraction of the software applications deployed. “Unused software is a significant cost oversight that should be avoided,” he adds. “This is largely driven by the fact that customers oversubscribe to the software; do not adequately manage the software lifecycle and do not actively manage usage of those licenses with the correct tooling.”
While the solutions to reining in excessive and wasteful IT spending are simple in theory, James asserts that misinformation and marketing are largely to blame. “It should come as no great shock that there are not many vendors out there that are helping companies to figure out how to spend less money on technology,” he says. “For the majority of the IT industry this would be counter intuitive, and the hype cycles that the industry generates prove this.”
Source: Finweek 10 April 2013