With spending predicted to pick up in the new year and the recession officially over, many enterprises are ready to invest in their IT departments once again. Now, however, is not the time to budget like it’s 1999 or 2007. Cautiously optimistic is still the way to go.
With the recession officially over, many enterprises are ready to invest in their data centers once again. Caution is still in order, however, so assessing and deciding where to invest that slightly increased budget remains critical.
This article originally ran with the headline “Create a Recession-Proof Data Center” in March 2008, shortly before the economy spiraled out of control and the global recession tightened its grip. The principles discussed here remain sound and valid. Consider re-examining them as you begin refreshing your data center.
You don’t need a Nobel prize for Economics to realize that the world’s economies are facing a slowdown or recession head on. And it doesn’t take a genius, or large leap of logic, to work out that your data center’s budget is likely to face a cut.
Whether you have an inkling a cut is coming or you haven’t been warned of an impending budget cut, establishing a course of action to cut costs now would be a wise move, according to Ken McGee, a vice president and Fellow at Gartner.
As far back as last year Gartner was warning about the need to prepare for a recession. Since then, things have obviously changed for the worse. “Since that time, the factors we based the research on — such as GDP growth projections and expert predictions for the likelihood of a recession — have worsened to a degree that convinces us it is now time for clients to prepare for cutting IT costs,” McGee said in January.
McGee recommends dedicating top staff exclusively to investigating IT cost-cutting measures, and appointing a senior auditor or accountant to the team to provide an official record of the team’s performance. He also recommends reporting progress to senior managers on a weekly basis and identifying a liaison with a legal representative to make it easier to work through legal issues that may crop up in connection with maintenance and other contracts or penalty clauses. This is to ensure cost-cutting measures don’t result in increased legal liabilities for your company.
So, having established that now is the time to take measures to help the data center weather a recession, the question is where should you look to cut costs?