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News

Avocent releases white paper on asset lifecycle management

Avocent : 11 March, 2009  (Technical Article)
Effective management of IT during difficult economic circumstances examined by Avocent white paper on effective lifecycle management
Avocent has announced the availability of a whitepaper, "Managing IT in Tough Economic Climates," that offers advice for IT managers looking to reduce overhead and increase efficiencies in the face of shrinking budgets and dwindling resources. The whitepaper, authored by Avocent CTO Ben Grimes, notes simple, easily implementable ways for businesses to realise greater cost savings, including improving asset lifecycle management, closely monitoring power consumption, and adopting the right mix of automation and people to increase productivity. Grimes stresses the need for greater alignment between IT and business, demonstrating how by staying focused on the three mainstays of the IT organisation - technology, processes and people - IT decision makers can effectively promote greater efficiency throughout the entire company and even help it to thrive in lean economic times.

"There has never been a more critical time for IT to align itself with the business to aid in streamlining processes and reducing operating expenses," said Avocent CTO Ben Grimes. "In past economic downturns, those companies that focused on cost containment and process improvement emerged victorious. In this current climate, businesses must again look at ways to do more with less and can use the new strategies and tools at their fingertips to help them weather the storm."

The whitepaper goes on to outline critical areas in which IT can make an immediate impact on streamlining business, including:

Power management: A 2008 Avocent survey of 300 data centre IT decision makers revealed that energy conservation was considered the most difficult issue to resolve using currently available tools; managing the total cost of power was a close second. Effective new technologies, such as intelligent power distribution devices and power management software, enable effective, granular monitoring of every appliance in the organisation and strategic reductions in energy consumption.
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Process automation: More than ever, businesses need to ensure they are maximising staff productivity. In addition to necessary business functions, IT typically manages an enormous volume of unique devices on a day-to-day basis, from employees' PDAs and mobile devices to servers and appliances in the data centre. Companies that implement automated management tools can simplify the complexity of managing their IT environments, streamline processes, and improve productivity and customer service. By implementing greater systems management oversight and control, IT managers can substantially increase staff productivity and make sustainable operational gains.

Asset management: Closer management of software and hardware assets throughout their lifecycle is now more essential than ever, given the recent surge in server consolidation. Businesses need to have a sound process for effectively decommissioning servers in place, because managing dormant servers can drive immediate cost savings. In several anecdotal cases, IT shops have stated that 30 percent of servers in large data centre's are "dead"; these servers not only take up valuable rack space but also waste precious data centre energy in power and cooling.

"Surprisingly, nearly a third of all the IT assets within an organisation are unaccounted for, and that can place a financial strain on any business," says Grimes. "Regulatory compliance under HIPAA and SOX, for example, requires that companies be prepared to show that they are not misusing software licenses, and that they are protecting sensitive data and operating in a secure manner. Asset management helps here too."
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