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How to use budget cuts to get a leaner IT system

We look at how economising will continue through 2011

Meticulous budgeting and economising technologies have helped sculpt trim new IT outfits. Here's how IT will maintain its slimmer shape in 2011.

Energy firm Southern Co's generation business is contemplating virtualising all of its servers and desktops, says CIO Marie Mouchet. "It's an option we're considering system-wide. We have application virtualisation and desktop virtualisation pilots under way. We have had a lease program for our desktops, which we rotate every few years. As they expire, we'll be evaluating moving to virtual desktops," she says.

As for new IT jobs, "we are not looking to hire additional people to meet needs," Mouchet says. Instead, the company plans to upsize and downsize using contractors.

But there are also organisations where investments in both technology and staff are at a standstill. Among them is the Tennessee Technology Center, one of 27 such centers in the Tennessee in the US that, along with six universities and 44 community colleges, make up the area's higher education system.

"One of the biggest problems is that there isn't revenue flowing into the state, and one of the first places they look to cut is education. We're doing without 20 percent of the IT budget we had last year, and last year we had 10 percent less than the year before," says Steve Mallard, the center's IT director.

He says he's looking for any and all ways to keep costs down, including using more open-source software, bringing on student interns to work in IT, recycling hardware, and building 40 percent of the computers and virtually all of the servers in use at the center.

NEXT PAGE: Push-button processes

  1. Economising will continue through 2011
  2. Investments in some firms are at a standstill
  3. Push-button processes
  4. Running for cloud cover
  5. Austerity yields new appreciation for IT

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