June 15, 2017 | Written by: Gary Vella
Share this post:
With IT budgets shrinking and customer expectations rising in a congested market, IT departments are under increasing pressure to maintain and improve customer service.
How can this be achieved when 60 to 70 percent of IT budgets are already consumed keeping existing systems running?
It’s time to optimize how IT budgets are spent and take a fresh view of IT infrastructure. There are three key tenets for considering how to reduce IT costs, release resources to focus on better customer experience and bolster competitive advantage:
1. Keep control of your data
In an industry where regulations such as the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) have increasing influence and significant potential ramifications, data sovereignty and compliance are vital considerations when running operations in the cloud.
The level of transparency required is only rising in support of a focus on customer needs and privacy. This means that organizations need full visibility of the location and governance of their data – on short notice – to have confidence in full accountability should an enquiry come into play. The cost of not meeting these standards is severe, and in many cases, surveys have shown that it could put brands out of business.
The important thing here is that organizations own the data, regardless of its location. Security, resilience, flexibility and processing speed are also key factors in the data location decision-making process. IBM currently has three data centers providing in-country back up, restoration and disaster recovery with zero cost within data center high-bandwidth networks. This capacity will soon double to six data centers, representing the largest UK footprint and providing a full availability zone to many organizations.
Why is this important? Now more than ever, brands need the flexibility to decide where their data is stored, whether that be in public, private or hybrid solutions.
2. Remember service is king
With the rise of e-commerce comes an exponential growth in site visitors, transactions and peak trading. This retail model is expanding across different sectors, too, and with it comes rising consumer expectations. Consumers expect the same from their bank as they do from their retailer and other favorite brands. This rising experiential benchmark means that brands must provide a seamless digital experience to maintain loyalty.
Whether you represent a retailer anticipating thousands of orders each day or a finance organization looking to streamline the loan approval process, a managed service with clear service-level agreements in place removes the operational headaches of IT management and frees up resources for more innovative activity. For example, a financial organization was able to increase loan approval rates by 5 percent, increase system availability by 20 percent and take a 15 percent cut in operating costs.
DIY cloud is important during development, but not for production systems where reliability and consistency are key. Service-level agreements are vital and many organizations are extending their teams with managed services.
3. Don’t pay more for key licenses
It may be old news to many, but running Oracle database workloads on some clouds can be more costly, due to it discontinuing cloud agreements with some major cloud vendors. This increase does not apply to all clouds however, and IBM has always designed cloud systems with OVM and Oracle certifications on hardware for RAC, so license costs remain at prior levels.
Given the broader costs of IT, a continuing drain on resources and some companies’ lack of flexibility to invest in innovative projects, having the right infrastructural foundation can be a game changer for any organization.
Learn more about cloud managed services.