Over the past six years Dell has had the privilege of sponsoring the annual EuroCIO conference. This important event has become a regular fixture on the agenda of the top 100 European CIOs and aims to provide senior IT professionals with the collective means to share their experience and raise awareness of key IT issues.
This year, I had the opportunity to represent Dell in a sponsored roundtable discussion on the impact of the economic crisis for CIOs, the challenges they are facing, the drive towards Green IT and related services. CISCO, EMC and Orange Business Services were also contributing to the roundtable discussion.
What makes the EuroCIO annual conference unique is that it is an event tailored by CIOs for CIOs, with a programme drawn up by a committee of CIOs from Europe’s largest companies. Therefore, the agenda sets out a real picture of the challenges CIOs are experiencing today. A broad range of topics were covered at this year’s conference, including IT governance, cloud computing and IT sustainable development.
It was not surprising to learn that at a time when economic downturn, global warming and higher energy costs have become more pronounced, CIOs are now taking a proactive position on these subjects. With 43% of firms slashing capital and operating IT budgets to stay afloat in today’s economic climate, it is evident that CIOs are now under pressure to cut back on their information technology spending and are still expected to maximize business effectiveness and market expansion.
Discussions on how green (environmental) best practices are affecting IT environments and the associated benefits, made me think about how Dell is already contributing positively. By following the "simplify and save" ethos created by Dell, CIOs can keep their business competitively positioned, focus cost-cutting efforts on basic operating expenses and contribute positively to the environment without cutting new investments altogether. By identifying and addressing hidden IT costs a business can more easily adjust to lean times and position itself for success in boom times.
These times come with challenges, but also opportunities. It is essential that CIOs make informed decisions based on factual data and prepare a plan, on the best approach for their company. Here are 3 guidelines CIOs can keep in mind when it comes to their IT environment:
- Apply aggressive measures that identify and address unnecessary IT maintenance cost and complexity. Dell has found that 80% of cost reduction opportunity is tied to managing or maintaining legacy IT equipment;
- Take full advantage of what you already have. Reformat and invest in upgrades and add-ons that will optimize system performance;
- Create a strategy that will strengthen the IT environment and improve the value that IT delivers to the company. This can be achieved by making prudent investments in hardware with lower management/maintenance costs and implementing solutions such as virtualization and cloud computing.
Following these guidelines will lead to a ‘recession-proof’ IT environment that will be simple, cost effective and will contribute to the effort of achieving set environmental goals.