The Cherry On Top

IT departments are cost centers. Technology is necessary to do business in the 21st century economy. We accept it but we should also do our best to control our costs in acquiring the technology we need. Too often IT spending can get out of control and we end up with lots of pricey extra features and functions that we don’t really need. How does this happen so easily? Let me explain with couple metaphors.

On a hot summer day you may feel like having some ice cream to cool off. You order two scoops or your favorite flavor and the ice cream vendor asks if you would like whipped cream and a cherry on top. Maybe you do, maybe you don’t. You didn’t know you needed it or even thought about it until the vendor mentioned it. It is available at no extra charge, so why not? Well, whether you get it or not, the cost is already factored into the price of the ice cream. You end up paying for it whether you use it or not.

Maybe you are just someone who lives for the whipped cream and cherry, so let me try another metaphor, the McRib. The McRib is a pork sandwich from McDonalds that has barbecue sauce and is roughly rib shaped. It seems like people love or hate the McRib but when it comes down to it, it is just a pork sandwich. I happen to like it and think it is very tasty. I have no illusions about it being equal to a slow cooked, succulent rack of ribs, but if I were hungry it meets the need. I don’t need to spend $20 on a rack of ribs every time I am hungry. I can be perfectly fine with a McRib for a few bucks.

In business expenditures, we rarely need the whipped cream and cherry or the $20 rack of ribs. Instead, we need to control costs everywhere we can to prop up the bottom line. Make sure you are looking closely at the real needs of the IT infrastructure and that you are not wasting money on unnecessary features, products, and services. Be careful though, because being frugal should not prevent you from investing in new technologies. In many cases, new technologies can be a better investment in lowering costs than holding on to older technologies.

Technology changes quickly.  From mainframes to servers, from virtualization to cloud, it can be harder to change our habits and way of thinking than it can be to change our hardware and software. We’d once gotten used to the idea that IT had to be complicated and now, as traditional virtualization gives way to hyperconverged infrastructure which will give way to hybrid cloud, many struggle to adapt. Software, hardware, virtualization, and storage no longer have to be the separate, complex components they once were.

Take a good look at your current expenditures on servers, SANs, hypervisors, and especially software licensing on infrastructure and then compare to a hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) solution like HC3 from Scale Computing. Don’t buy another SAN and hypervisor, no matter how much whipped cream and cherries the vendors put on top, until you see what HCI can do and what it can save you. Take a look at how HCI is making hybrid cloud and hybrid IT more accessible to business of all sizes. That’s the only way your next IT investment story is going to have a happy ending.

 

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