Supplier-Connection: The Supplier Spotlight Contest
Have you ever had a performance evaluation, or Health Check done on your critical IT systems? (I’m not talking about the painful ones like PCI or Sarbanes-Oxley!) A Health Check is when you have a third party vendor come in, take a look at your IT environment and make recommendations for improvement. The results and benefits may surprise you:
Health checks identify opportunities for consolidation. It’s a fact that the budgeting process at companies leads to many IT inefficiencies. For example, when a new application is being deployed the Project Manager has to make sure the application has a home once it’s ready to go “live”. Therefore, most every project assumes the purchase of new server resources. Over an extended period of time dozens of “silos” fill the server landscape, all with dedicated resources. (One client had an average utilization of less than .01% across more than 30 servers!)
Third-Party Health Checks can identify inefficiencies without regard to the politics that would normally hamstring an internal resource attempting to do the same thing.
Health Checks save significant operating capital. The company mentioned above successfully consolidated their 30+ servers down to eight while adding high availability to their structure, all with existing staff and hardware. They saved $80,000/year in hardware refresh costs (cost avoidance), $72,000/year in licensing costs, and $86,000 in maintenance costs (cost reduction) for a total savings of $238,000 per year. They now perform health checks regularly.
Health Checks identify pending issues that can then be resolved before an outage occurs. Example: A $1B+ printing company had an outage in their main revenue producing web system taking two weeks to resolve. Besides disruption of their business, they endured a lost revenue opportunity of more than $22 million (though a portion was later recovered). A Health Check costing a few thousand dollars would have easily identified the issue in advance and its proactive resolution would have completely avoided this loss.
Additionally, Health Checks also do the following:
- Allow you to gain access to expert level resources without a full time hire
- Identify skill gaps in your existing staff
- Identify process improvements
Whether you’re a small or large company, finding efficiencies in your IT infrastructure through the use of third parties performing Health Checks is a smart idea.