While businesses are largely under pressure to do more with less, there’s also good news, namely that Agile IT can afford near immediate cost savings. We talked with Trebb Ryan from Dimension Data to find out more.
Saving money and decreasing costs are on the forefront of every business’ mind, perhaps now more than ever. Trebb Ryan, the chief strategy officer for the Cloud Business Unit at Dimension Data believes that the key to accomplishing this lies in Agile IT. This in essence refers to being able to quickly adopt, innovate and scale IT infrastructure, rather than making onerous investments upfront in expensive IT infrastructure which may or may not pay off.
According to Ryan, there are two main ways to save money over time with Agile IT. The first is the ability to work with one’s development organisation to come up with programmes that cost less. He pointed out that in traditional IT, once an application is deployed on capital assets and is working properly, very little thought goes into making that application more efficient. Instead, all development goes to the improvement in the features and speed. But with Agile IT, companies can actually have development make the application use less resources and save money immediately. “If you can make an application 20% more memory efficient, you can immediately pay 20% a month less on servers for that application,” he enthused.
Try and try again
Ryan secondly punted the importance of iterative development. He pointed out that while web applications are developed with this in mind, where improvements are being made on a constant basis, this same smart approach unfortunately has not yet been widely adopted insofar as the deployment of IT infrastructure is concerned. “It used to be that we didn’t trust software until it entered version 1.0, but now iterative development of apps is commonplace. What is more, today’s users expect them to be updated not once every two years but rather on a monthly if not weekly basis,” he noted.
Ryan continued that strangely enough, when it comes to the deployment of IT, the industry is still opting for large infrastructure projects, with massive capital expenditures that can take many months if not more than a year before finally going live. This, according to Ryan, is entirely unnecessary, particularly with the availability of cloud for rent, where an organisation can rent a server for six hours for minimal cost, and try a business strategy and see if it works.
Ryan continued that another arena of saving money is through mitigating depreciation that occurs when there is a lengthy delay between the time new infrastructures is acquired, and when it is actually used. “Computing in general has a short shelf life – the longer it sits unused, the less it is worth,” he pointed out. He contrasted this with a consumptive billing model, in which an organisation only pays for as much as they need and as much as they use; an approach which he pointed out could help organisations save “significant amounts of money,” with some of this saving coming from electricity costs.
Ultimately, Ryan’s message to organisations was to be flexible enough to take advantage of the new ways of using IT, and in so doing, reap the benefits of increased efficiency and financial savings.