5 Unexpected Lessons from 2020: Surviving & Thriving During Extreme Change
By Pete Schmitt, CTO, cStor
WOW! 😮 If anyone had told me in February that by March we’d all be on quarantine lockdown for three months, I would have politely (and inconspicuously) called 911 to get you into the hospital for a psych evaluation.
Yes, I’m now in acceptance mode. I suspect (and hope) you are too, as well as staying healthy and keeping your sanity. Things are starting to open, and get back to, what will be, our new normal. So, what’s an IT team supposed to do now?
For many businesses, back to normal means figuring out creative ways to do more with less… and now in many cases, a whole lot less. Less budget, less staff, fewer resources. IT teams have likely never been strained to this degree in our lifetimes, and may never be again (let’s hope), it is truly unprecedented. With fewer staff and masses of workers at home, plus systems and security is being stretched to the limits, it’s more imperative than ever companies find creative ways to do more with less. Sometimes figuring out what that means takes an outside perspective.
Tips for Cutting Costs
Our partners over at House of Brick (now part of OpsCompass) recently published an insightful blog on “5 Oracle Cost Cutting Hacks” that does a great job breaking down some unique ways of saving costs if you’re running on Oracle, I encourage you to check it out if indeed you are.
The more pressing point I want to make here, however, is that there are actually cost-cutting hacks everywhere, you just need to find them. Sometimes you’re too close to it all to have the right perspective. Sometimes your team just doesn’t know what it doesn’t know.
There’s no indictment here, we’re all in this together trying to navigate our way individually and collectively back to a more stable ‘new normal.’ So here are a few key lessons I believe we’re learning from this environment that might just help you stabilize back to some kind of normalcy sooner versus later.
- Leave no stone unturned.
When it comes to reevaluating what you’re spending where and on what, it’s much more than Oracle for most businesses. Of course, you have to start somewhere, and that can be a ‘biggie,’ but taking a holistic yet methodical approach to all of your key systems and environment based on cost level, demand, users, etc. can help identify some big savings areas sooner versus later.
- Don’t overlook licensing costs.
It’s easy to get caught in the licensing traps as House of Brick mentions, in some cases you could even end up paying list price or more. That’s like leaving the hose running in your backyard for a week only to find your water bill is through the roof, when in fact it was an easy ‘shut off’ action to begin with. It’s easy to be distracted by the drama in this environment, just don’t get caught leaving the ‘hose on.’
- Right-size features for your own new normal.
Remember that every system and vendor you’ve ever purchased from was there to sell you a lot of technology and services. Period. It’s not uncommon for companies to be ‘over-featured’ in many areas in preparation for future events that frankly may be a long time out at this point if they ever come. Not right-sizing your features is like purchasing a giant truck with a huge trailer hitch for the pontoon boat you’re planning to buy in five years. If you don’t need it now or in the next six months, let it go.
- Consider going hybrid if you haven’t already… now’s the time.
There’s been so much hype around cloud and what systems should move versus stay on-prem that it’s easy to get lost in confusion, especially now. Going through the exercise of determining what to move to the cloud and what not to move can deliver quick benefits to the bottom line. Trust me, this is worth doing, even if it seems daunting at the moment.
- Identify a new way to move to a consumption model.
In some cases, moving specific workloads to the cloud and leaving others on-prem can deliver as much as 70% cost savings without impact to everyday operations. If that figure doesn’t pique your interest in how to ‘do more with less,’ nothing will.
In the End
There are cost savings out there, possibly significant ones, but you may be distracted by constant fires or dealing with fewer staff resources and just don’t have the time to dive in. We get it, again, no indictment here, only an offer to help. cStor has a deep and wide bench of experts along with a tight-knit group of partners that we know inside and out, so we can help you run these evaluations across a wide range of platforms and systems, even those not on our ‘partner list,’ such as Oracle and many others.
Sometimes the view from outside makes it far easier to get the expertise and clarity you need across your entire environment to make the biggest impact the fastest. After all, in the famous words of Einstein, “doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results” is the definition of insanity.