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Simplifying IT Pays Off With Big Savings, Better Business Success

The IT workplace is experiencing a clash of cultures, where old applications and networks of yesteryear meet the newest mobile technologies and are forced to cohabitate with cloud services.  All of this melding technology, says Dan Muse writing for CIO, makes for a complex and sometimes unruly IT environment. But just because complexity is part of the business, doesn’t mean it’s always necessary.

Complexity is a Drag

According to a study by IDC, reducing complexity saves money and brings more favorable business outcomes. Not only that, but a simpler IT environment usually means faster delivery to markets, better customer service, and more flexible staff reallocation. As Muse explains:

Complexity can cost both the business and IT side of the company, according to the report. Challenges on the tech side include increased operational costs, IT staff burden and reduced capability to provide high levels of service to the business. As IT becomes more strategic to the enterprise business applications, complexity can leave the business at a competitive disadvantage…

Business and Users Demand Complexity

And of course, there are many causes of IT complexity, from corporate mergers and acquisitions, to the presence and continued use of legacy systems. But as the IDC study found, complexity is quite a nuanced phenomenon. For starters, it’s not always possible to reduce complexity, since some degree of it is a requirement of business demands. In addition, much of today’s IT complexity results from the demands end users place on businesses, such as the expectation of front end simplicity created by popular products like smartphones and tablets.

Simplifying IT Practices

So what are organizations doing to reduce complexity? Muse presents IDC’s list of approaches to help CIOs do the house cleaning.

  1. Consolidating and rationalizing applications, systems, and data centers.
  2. Modernizing applications.
  3. Unifying operating systems into a single environment.
  4. Outsourcing to third parties and cloud computing providers.
  5. Inserting more functional automation and integration tools and technologies.

In addition, IDC created a Simplification Road Map involving four key processes that is designed to help companies reduce complexity.

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About Eric Anderson

Eric Anderson is a staff writer for CAI’s Accelerating IT Success. He is an intern at Computer Aid Inc., pursuing his master’s degree in communications at Penn State University.

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