The cost of maintaining the data centre has become stifling for many small to medium sized businesses. It is estimated that just keeping the lights on is, on average, eating up between 72% and 85% of IT budgets. The time spent attending to hardware, software and infrastructure is also curtailing the time IT teams have available to focus on progressive projects.

Organisations can free up resources by bringing separate components together and introducing automation. This will deliver the efficiencies necessary to reduce costs and the burden on time. IT executives can then concentrate of the initiatives capable of providing businesses with a competitive advantage. Here are three ways business can do just that.

Pool Resources

Organisations can reduce the amount of hardware needed in the data centre by bringing components together. By consolidating storage in a storage area network (SAN), efficiency technologies such as deduplication and thin provision can be deployed which would reduce the amount of physical equipment required to be maintained. This would also mean less power and cooling – freeing up extra finance for new projects. The deployment of automation for systems such as backup would also reduce the amount of manual checks currently carried out by IT staff.

Increase Agility

Organisations can also free up resources by creating a more agile data centre which utilises the Cloud. Cloud providers are allowing businesses to scale up and down using their infrastructure as and when required. By taking advantage of cloud, firms can reduce the amount of kit their need to maintain on premise. If organisations experience seasonal peaks in demand on the data centre this maybe a more cost effective option. An e-commerce business may experience heavy demand for just few weeks in the year and then be able to operate with a reduce infrastructure for the remaining months.

Be More Responsive

If IT teams find themselves unable to respond quickly to the demands of the business, they could be creating headaches for themselves when end users seek their own solutions. The increased usage of cloud services has now created a scenario where individual departments are prepared sourcing their own solutions – rather than wait for the IT department to get around to solving the issue. However, as employees use cloud services, such as sync and share tools, IT has been left to deal with consequences. Many are having to deal with the potential security issues this has created and ensure sensitive information doesn’t leave the business.

IT teams need to get ahead of the end user and be more proactive in this regard, if they are going to alleviate the tendency for employees to look elsewhere. It may be the only way the IT team can get ahead and become more responsive is by freeing up those resources in the first place. Reducing the hardware, introducing efficiency technologies and automation, and utilising the cloud where possible could all provide essential in freeing up those resources.