DIY tips: How to cut costs and get more from your IT gear

Forget buying new tools; adjusting applications and resources can deliver results in a downturn

With tech budgets shrinking, network professionals are spending less time planning new purchases and more time trying to cut costs and squeeze more value out of existing IT resources.

"Cost reduction and cost containment is a priority, and this economic downturn is really a catalyst to become more efficient and better use the things we already have. If everything was rosy, we probably wouldn't be focusing so intensely on efficiencies right now," says Jake Seitz, enterprise architect at The First American Corp.

The Santa Ana, Calif.-based company established a task force to find the hidden gems amidst its current raft of software and high-tech tools, Seitz says. "We have a lot of disparate platforms and products, some of which have been a one-trick pony. We are reevaluating their capabilities and reusing them in different ways."

Seitz isn't alone. Many IT industry professionals realize they can find more uses for tools their company already owns and even kick off new initiatives without requesting any new funding. Here we've culled 10 ideas to consider.

Pool troubleshooting resources

Identifying areas in which staff can collaborate and more easily share information helps Brian Jones reduce manual efforts and improve response times when troubleshooting problems.

Jones, manager of research and network engineering at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University's Tech Communications Network Services unit in Blacksburg, says his group recently moved in-house, off-the-shelf and open source tools into one centralized location with the help of wiki software from Confluence -- which he had on hand prior to the downturn. The software lets the network engineering and operations teams access data, documentation and tools from one toolbar.

"This way staff has the documentation it needs to address the problem as well as the ability to launch the tools to resolve the issues from that same toolbar," Jones explains. "It has really cut down on the time it takes to find the resources you need in a situation and helps staff efforts."

Use SNMP to track power usage

With green computing initiatives top of mind for their potential cost savings, many IT departments are tasked with trying to find ways to capture the power consumption and then reduce it across the environment. Without new tools, that task might seem a bit daunting.

Shane Bordeau, senior regional manager of strategic accounts at network performance management vendor NetQoS, explains that IT managers can use SNMP Management Information Bases to monitor power consumption -- without spending a penny

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags open sourcevoipNetwork managementglobal recessioneconomic crisis

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Denise Dubie

Network World
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?