It's the advice everyone proffers: if you want to make your workplace IT more efficient and cheaper to run, you have to simplify it. But how can you go about doing that? A report from Boston Consulting Group suggests six broad approaches that can be useful.
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Yes, on one level simplification comes down to "don't run too many different platforms", but that can be a difficult rule to apply in larger organisations. The report, Simplify IT: Six Ways to Reduce Complexity, suggests these fundamental strategies:
- Intelligent demand management (that is, making sure you're only supplying systems that are financially justified)
- Scenario-based application rationalisation (cutting down on the number of platforms used)
- Infrastructure technology-pattern reduction (reducing the number of distinct hardware, software and middleware combinations you use)
- Reducing the size of the IT organisation, especially in terms of management layers
- Effective governance processes
- Considering shared services and outsourcing
Reducing the number of staff is understandably not a popular option for IT pros. One way of reframing the question: if you suddenly had to lose 20 per cent of your IT workers, which 20 per cent of services would you tell the business it could no longer have?