It takes you longer to do your work, as you run around looking for tools and tape measures. Since you can’t readily find anything you often end up with duplicate tools – honestly, how many screwdrivers do you have? So above the additional cost of wasted time you end up buying more tools driving up the overall cost. Contrast that with your neighbour (you know the one) with the perfect setup – all his tools organized in a single location, organized by type and size, gleaming tool belt at the ready.
In IT, the situation is no different. Having the right (technology) tools in a centralized, accessible location is key to delivering the best services to your “customers” – the users and systems that drive your business. Your company may even have a documented SLA (Service Level Agreement) that must be met – uptime of the technology, turnaround time for a process, etc..
The recent CA report, Avoidable Cost of Downtime, highlights the real-world costs associated with technology not being available to those that need it. Of the businesses surveyed, it was determined that 127 million person-hours are lost annually in employee productivity due to IT downtime. When the services are unavailable, staff are only able to operate at 63% of their usual efficiency.
Centralizing services also helps to reduce costs by eliminating duplication (remember the screwdrivers) and lowering the overall cost of maintaining your systems. In an article with the compelling title, Enterprise IT: What Your Colleagues Really Think, CIO Insight noted that 43.5% of respondents to a recent survey state “IT cost reduction initiatives” will be implemented in the next 12 months.
The government is also pushing for increased IT efficiencies through consolidation efforts. The multi-billion dollar U.S. Department of Defense budget is being scrutinized to minimize duplication and wasted spend as much as any ‘normal’ organization.
The lesson is simple and fairly obvious: centralize your essential tools to reduce your costs and improve the services provided to your customers. This is true whether you manage the IT strategy of a major corporation… or you just need to put a little girl on her new bike before the tears start.
This is the second in a series about Enterprise Content Transformation – aimed at business users. (We recently completed a 9-part series about ECT written for the IT user).