Many companies are looking to save money in the current economy by looking at what can be cut from IT, and this article from InfoWorld lists several ideas that can help companies streamline their operations and potentially even realize faster gains from their projects. A lot of the advice focused on adopting a more agile approach for IT projects, giving business stakeholders value and functionality more quickly than traditional project management approaches that are more planning up-front heavy and may take months or years to get the value to the business. At Ayoka, we’ve been focusing on this approach and educating our clients about the benefits of agile and the approach it brings to project management and generally find that clients are very responsive towards it. Of course, for a client to truely embrace the agile approach they also need to be convinced that a fixed-bid pricing model will in the end work against that, and may not be in their best interest.
Another good point the article mentioned was the cost-saving benefits of virtualization, SaaS (Software as a Service), and cloud computing. I like to lump these together because when a company realizes the benefit of one and starts adopting it in one department, generally the benefits quickly become apparent and (where feasible) the others are adopted as well. For a custom software company like Ayoka, clients that have adopted or are interested in these technologies have far less barriers in their IT environment to deploying, administering, and maintaining new products and we can focus on what gives the best value to the customer instead of what can work within their IT spiderweb.
The point that really hit home with what I see on a daily basis was about maintaining legacy applications that are a huge cost center, especially for SMBs that can’t really afford to keep a full-time staff on hand yet need to be able to support the mission critical application. That’s where we can really help our clients cut costs and allow them to focus on their core business needs and have us manage the development and maintenance work on an as needed basis:
- By providing an integration layer for that legacy application so that in-house IT staff can focus on providing actual value and deliver results to the line of business.
- By moving the application to the cloud and basically reducing the need for in house management of the application.
- Or by rewriting the application in a mainstream technology that the in-house IT staff can support.