Insights | Blog
IT Cost Management and the Cloud
As goals and objectives are set for 2013 and communicated throughout companies, many employees are asking if this will be the year that the new ‘system’ or ‘latest and greatest’ tech devices arrive. Will we finally be able to ‘catch-up’ and ‘sync-up’ with increased reliability, speed, accuracy, and access?
Discussions around IT costs are constant. Oftentimes, new technology hardware and software solutions are perceived as more expensive than what is currently being used. Looks, however, can be deceiving. In many cases, continued warranty, support, and licensing fees may exceed the costs of implementing and deploying new technology that is significantly more efficient and powerful.
The ability of Finance and IT to work cooperatively with users and consumers of technology in a company is vital. All must understand the ‘hidden’ costs of continuing to rely on ‘dated’ IT solutions. This may include downtime for maintenance; patches, fixes, and required software updates; lost productivity and inefficiencies; end-user frustration; and a lack of compatibility with newer systems and devices used by clients and vendors.
So how do you know when it’s the right time to consider upgrading your systems, and when the ‘next big thing’ really is, the ‘next big thing’? Some things to think about:
– Do you have older infrastructure components that are due for replacement?
– Can you reduce planned capital investments and overall ongoing IT costs?
o Maintenance and Support Services
o Licensing Fees
o Hardware Costs
– Can you reduce/avoid continued modifications to existing applications?
– Do your employees spend significant time and effort on ‘routine’ activities,
such as month-end close due to system limitations?
– Are your current applications difficult for new users to learn?
– Are you able to obtain the right information about your key business
performance metrics at the right time from your current systems?
Many of these challenges can be addressed by upgrading to cloud-based computing solutions or subscription-based IT services that can enable improvement in capabilities and cost management. Advancements in the availability and diversity of SaaS (Software as a Service) and IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) solution options enable companies to leverage them to realize performance and cost improvements.
As with any major business decision, an honest assessment of the status quo will ensure the correct approach to perhaps a road better traveled.