IT networks harbor taxes in
power, license and social realms.
It's tax time! April 15 is
not anyone's favorite date, but as we scramble to dig out receipts for dinners
long past and try to figure out where all the money goes, it is also time to
think about some hidden taxes. Did you know that your IT network has lots of
hidden taxes? Consider, for example:
You are paying
electricity, air conditioning and real estate costs for systems that are
spending a lot of time doing nothing. What is your average system utilization?
If you are in the 25 percent range, you are ahead of many of your compatriots.
But before you go and ask the CFO for a budget for server blades, know what you
are paying in current (as in electrical current) taxes. Cut this tax by being
ruthless about getting users to turn off idle systems. Take a dive into
identifying all those applications no longer in use and consider virtualizing
your network. Getting the facilities manager to show you the electric bill is a
good place to start slashing this tax.
service agreements are complex, convoluted and often seem in place mainly to
keep the corporate lawyers employed. However, if you take the time to read
those 50 pages-and that would be a small agreement-of license requirements for
e-mail, office and other applications, you'll find lots of hidden costs in the
form of licensing taxes you can cut. How many concurrent users are authorized
in your end user agreements? Are you able to measure the number of users? Are
you still paying for per server costs in an era of server virtualization? Maybe
you should just go with open source and forget all that measuring and
The social tax.
make you as popular as your local tax collector, but add up the time users are
spending on eBay and Facebook and Googling their ex-girlfriends and you'll find
hours of social tax ripe for the cutting. Striking a balance between letting
employees have unlimited access to the Internet versus trying to get some work
done remains one of the big conundrums for tech execs. In the meantime, it would
make sense to set some limits on social networking at your company before your
social tax drives you to the profitless void.
And here's one more word on
taxes regarding what the government should do with the money it removes from
your paycheck every week. Wouldn't it be nice if some of those tax dollars were
used to educate the next generation of techies, help the present generation
keep their jobs, and fund the basic research and development needed to create
the next generation of technology companies that just might be needed to save
Editorial Director Eric
Lundquist can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.