Likely soon after the first user chose “Save” from a menu, and then saved another file after that.
It sounds reductionist, but it’s the truth: our computer systems can do nearly anything, but we don’t always know what they could best be doing. Legacy systems only kind-of-sort-of talk to each other, new systems require herculean efforts to lock into place, and the complexity of it all in today’s new world of work often requires the hiring of consultants, managers, programmers and support staff.
You might stop and ask yourself, “How much of this stuff is actually getting us more customers, or helping our folks get more done?” And the answer might lead you to seek out an emerging service: IT simplification.
Lots of firms provide IT simplification consulting and services, and with them, a unique set of setup demands from each client. But there are a few common steps each company will likely go through during an IT simplification overhaul including:
- Financial data consolidation (faster reporting)
- Installation of in-memory analytics tools
- Standardization of processes across offices, servers, data centers and countries of operation
- Implementation of private clouds
- Top-level changes to corporate strategy: less “project myopia,” much faster time-to-market expectations
IT consulting firm Leverhawk often blogs about IT simplification, and a recent post covered two detailed case studies. One involved WorkIntelligent.ly content sponsor Ricoh, which moved its European operation onto a private cloud, as noted by CIO:
“The internal benefits have been clear. The company is consolidating nine data centers into two, which will cut IT infrastructure costs by 30 percent through the elimination of 1,000 servers. It will also reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 16,800 tons (the equivalent of taking 3,350 cars off the road), helping the company achieve its 2050 goal to reduce total energy consumption by 87.5 percent.”
In another example, financial asset management firm State Street changed the way it develops applications by prioritizing open-source components, reusing code, and standardizing access to databases and control processes. The result?
- Amount of written code reduced by 30-40 percent
- Test time reduced by 30 percent
- $600 million in total cost savings by end of 2014
These are huge savings in key metrics, with lessons applicable to your business. If you want a more general understanding of what IT simplification means, and what it could mean for your business, then check out “Three Rules for IT Simplification,” by blogger, author, and tech maestro Roger Sessions.
As Sessions states, small, separated, and synergistic: that’s what you want. Spend less time running a hamburger franchise, and more time serving burgers. That’s IT simplification in a nutshell – a consideration your business may want to make as it continues to navigate an increasingly complex new world of work.