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

IT managers can turn on SNMP polling across various devices, such as light systems, and monitor power usage and thermostat levels without investing in power monitoring tools from a vendor. Bordeau says the metrics can be captured, tracked, averaged and compared against bills to trend where unnecessary costs are accruing.

"Many things have poll-able metrics now and can be network-attached," Bordeau says. "Every penny counts right now."

Tap collaboration, social networking tools

Naveed Husain isn't feeling the penny-pinching effect of the recession as much as others in his field, he says, because he works in public education -- where every dollar needs to be stretched into three.

"We have never been able to throw money at things, so we buy things we know can be used in a variety of ways," says Husain, CIO at Queens College, a City University of New York public educational institution.

For instance, instead of investing in software to revamp the university's Web site and separate tools for project management, Husain tapped an existing enterprise Microsoft SharePoint license to do both. The collaboration software helped Husain build a standard look and feel across Queens College's various departments and not spend a cent.

"The whole idea when we decided to use SharePoint was to leverage what we were already spending money on, so we can really get everything out of it possible," he explains.

Husain also is putting social networking to use by building Facebook pages for university departments.

"This isn't cutting edge or new, but our students are already using this application and it is available to us for free so why not meet our customers there and provide them the resources they need in a setting they are comfortable with," Husain says. "And it's free for us."

'True-up' maintenance/software license contracts

An economic downturn provides the perfect opportunity to take an inventory of network devices and software licenses, track actual usage and associate a cost with what gets used in the environment and by whom.

"True-up maintenance contracts," says Lou Nardo, Netcordia's vice president of product management. "[It will] help stop over-paying on network device maintenance beyond what is still owned and deployed."

John Turner, director of networks and systems at Brandeis University, adjusts his organization's maintenance contracts during tough economic times. With some 900 edge switches, "it makes sense for us to put maintenance on core equipment and just spare the edge switches," Turner says. He adds that having maintenance on all the switches costs more than having a few spares on hand in case one breaks.

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

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

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!

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?