Everything is about to change. Wow. A fluid market is starting to take place right before our eyes. Syzygy of software hardware and services, bundled into a piece of joy loosely labeled cloud. RampRate was founded to help companies cut IT costs, both supplier and user. For a decade, we’ve worked with hundreds of IT suppliers and advised many of the world’s biggest media, entertainment, finance and tech companies on these issues. I always loved that Geico ad, but I never realized the suppliers AND the clients would be happy post-RampRate cost chopping.
So you can imagine how delighted I was to read a smart little piece like this one from Chris Crosby, about cutting costs by moving to a highly standardized approach to data center construction. Yes, thats where the actual cloud lives and breathes.
Crosby cites the teachings of management guru Edwards Deming to explain why his company focuses on fewer component providers and consistent designs to reduce the headaches and misadventures that can result when every data center becomes a bespoke project created from scratch. As a CQUIP trainer of yesteryear, does anyone remember that>? That which can not be measured can not be improved.
His approach means systems that cost less, do the most important things that matter to most customers, are more reliable and more likely to be delivered on time. And by focusing on the most important functions, his company can really optimize what they’re creating for their customers.
Lean As A Mindset
It’s the same smart approach of another of RampRate’s regular collaborators, ServiceMesh, which provides an enterprise-grade platform for managing cloud-based applications. In working with a major Australian bank, for instance, ServiceMesh developed a standardized set of specs and connections for software creators that eliminates the need for custom-written programs of many kinds for the entire banking industry.
The standardized specs cut development costs, increase reliability and allow businesses to swap out programs without the attendant headaches caused by tech lock-in, long development cycles and more. In short, it helps businesses get on with doing their business, with fewer distractions trying to optimize their IT.
RampRate board advisor Peter Gross spent part of his last year at Hewlett-Packard helping that giant company create a highly standardized prefabricated approach to data-center design called, for short, FlexDC.
According to Peter, who now is with BloomEnergy using fuel-cell technology to get data centers off the main utility grid to lower costs and increase reliability.
This approach creates savings in two ways:
1) leveraging the supply chain to get economies of scale in parts and
2) shifting labor costs from the data center site to a centralized and highly optimized assembly factory.
“It’s the way data centers will be built in the future,” Peter says. I think he’s right. The savings are too substantial for bespoke alternatives to adequately compete in most situations and for most needs.
More and more, businesses are understanding the value of these standardized platforms. As an advisor to many of these companies, RampRate is continually looking for smart suppliers and approaches that can squeeze out unnecessary costs and focus on what companies need! In the telecom expense management space, which is about as archaic as frame relay, its time for a fresh look at how networks are really being built not how trunks and voice are being cut a speck of a penny. Ugh.
Admittedly, care needs to be taken in settling on a standardized approach. What can be a cost-saver can, if done wrong, be an overly limiting straitjacket. But for so many areas, the upsides are much bigger than the downsides when it’s done right.
So here’s my question for you: What is your company doing to reduce the cost of your IT spend? Are you looking at standardized approaches for development and implementation? Are you considering platforms that can simplify application development while meeting your cost structures and delivery windows? If not, why not?