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Introducing Cover Your Assets, A Weekly Reality Check of Frugal vs. Folly

By Kenneth Hess (Send Email)
Posted Jan 7, 2009


Ken Hess
Everyone wants to save money, and we all make those New Year's resolutions. But this time you'll be able to stick to your guns by having the Cover Your Assets column at your side as your personal IT financial guide. The goal of this new column is to put forth techniques, ideas, and strategies to help you get more mileage out of your IT budget. Some money-saving ideas are better than others, and the line between frugal and folly isn't always distinct. For example, the State of Alaska, once called "Seward's Folly" because of its $7.2 million USD price tag, has paid for itself many hundreds of times over with its natural resources of gold, oil and wildlife. Your actual mileage may vary.

Cover Your Assets: Learning the difference between frugal and folly will save your IT budget, your job and your sanity.

Writing black ink into your company's bottom line requires creative thinking and a forward-looking strategy. Mindless job slashing, benefit reduction or removal, and throwing away incentive programs aren't creative solutions. Nor are they particularly effective long term. There are ways to make the most of what you have and learn from your mistakes to create a financially sound environment for your company.

Cover Your Assets will provide you with some great ways to turn that red ink to black. We'll also discuss some unwise money-saving ideas and strategies along the way whose use may prove to be more folly than frugal. Making wise choices isn't always easy and often meets with great opposition (Seward's Folly), but the returns can be tremendous.

To give you a taste of things to come, some of our dollar-stretching tactics include the use of open source applications, cloud-based computing, Linux and virtualization. We will also examine the efficacy of outsourcing services to an application services provider (ASP), collocating your server systems, using used equipment and exploring lease options.

Additionally, we'll discuss software licensing options, service negotiation, service levels, and leveraging remote support for systems and services. You'll have more than enough fodder for those round table discussions centered on making tough financial decisions. The financial health of the company you work for is your business, and the job you save by discussing these options may be your own.

We want you to enjoy and participate in this process. Your feedback and input are important to us, so drop us a line and let us know how you intend to get creative with your IT finances this year. Please reference Cover Your Assets in your email.

Ken Hess is a freelance writer who writes on a variety of open source topics including Linux, databases, and virtualization. You may reach him through his website at http://www.kenhess.com.

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