If you’re considering a change with your data center operations, chances are you’re focusing on upgrades that will help you significantly reduce the risks of IT downtime. But it’s possible that a series of changes, ranging from data center consolidations to cloud computer and shared services, can lead to more savings than you may have realized.
That’s what the U.S. government concluded for its operations, after a 5-year study measured the impact of those types of changes on IT spending. The savings was significant., according to the report recently released by the U.S. Government Accountability Office. Out of $80 billion the government budgets a year for IT costs, the implementation of IT changes resulted in $3 billion in savings.
The IT reforms came as a result of what the government described as a “cut and reinvest” strategy; with 26 agencies required to reduce IT by 10 percent, and then propose reinvestments of those funds that could result in savings.
There were several key takeaways from the study - lessons that could help your company develop an effective strategy for implementing a cost-saving IT restructuring plan. Here’s what the report revealed:
- Get buy-in to execute a successful plan. Of the 27 agencies included in the study, only nine met or exceeded the targets outlined by OMB, the report said. Two of the agencies did not submit required documentation.
- Clearly identify goals. The government report revealed that the savings could have been more significant had the proposals been properly set at the beginning. “Specifically, agencies should have submitted a total of $7.6 billion in reductions and proposed reinvestments between $3.8 and $7.6 billion,” it said. “Instead, agencies collectively proposed reductions of about $3.0 billion and reinvestments of $2.1 billion in their fiscal year 2014 budget submissions.”
- Set reporting requirements. Not only does this provide a roadmap for current projects, it provides guidance - and a measurement - for future initiatives. “When combined with the lack of established performance targets … it will be difficult for OMB to gauge agency progress in re-investing their savings going forward,” according to the report. “In the absence of a requirement for agencies to track actual reinvestment performance and defined targets, OMB will be limited in its ability to ensure that agencies’ reinvestments are occurring as planned and may not be able to hold agencies accountable for continued progress.”
- Measure results. The government study showed that data center consolidation contributed to much of the savings, as it resulted in a reduced need for hardware, consolidation of licensing agreements and data center closures. This type of data, when properly identified, can help teams make the most significant investments moving forward.
At Lifeline Data Centers, we have years of experience helping companies in numerous industries maintain cost-effective solutions through our colocation facility. Contact us to find out why we are a Rated-4 data center.