Your company is looking to acquire new IT equipment. What goes into your decision-making process?

You want something that fits your business and technical needs; that’s a given. You need something affordable as well; you can’t blow your budget. And you don’t want to be paying for functionality you won’t use. (Your employees may love a Radeon R9270X graphics card, but it’s not the best investment for a corporate computer). That’s about it, right?

It’s not that simple.

Sustainable Lifecycle | Managing, Investing in and Building your IT Portfolio | The Circuit Blog | 4THBIN

What is IT Portfolio Management?

This is important. New technology is more than just a piece of hardware – it’s an asset. Most businesses don’t have any oversight of their IT investments and, as such, they stand to lose thousands of dollars if mismanaged. Looking simply to get today’s best price, most companies make poor purchasing decisions and with little thought to the future.

Effective portfolio management involves seeing beyond short-term gains to determine the best long-term strategy. It’s considering more than simply finding the best deals on modern technology but ensuring your company is accurately matching what you’re purchasing to your true business needs—and then minimizing the spend on those purchases. Making smart decisions when purchasing can create immediate savings, reduce your overall Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and compound the capabilities of your IT buying power.

Portfolio Management analyzes and evaluates a company’s IT assets and develops a comprehensive strategy to reduce the TCO and total long-term net spending on your IT equipment. The strategy will take you past the initial lifecycle but into future purchase cycles – as far as you want to project.

Using a combination of industry knowledge, big data and a new, proprietary financial analysis model, an expert IT portfolio management team will evaluate and recommend a long-term strategy to maximize the efficiency of your IT budget by matching what you’re purchasing with what you actually need. Once these needs are understood and a strategy is created and aligned upon with your company leaders, it is crucial to ensure standardization is implemented across your IT portfolio for effective distribution, cost savings and proper security.

Why Is Standardization Vital?

What is standardization and why is it so important? Standardization is the practice of minimizing the versions of hardware and software within an environment. The result is minimized IT costs within a company by reducing the number of tools, and time spent configuring and managing those tools, to ensure there are not duplicative tools, processes or manpower fulfilling the same basic need.

Residual vs Support | Managing, Investing in and Building your IT Portfolio | The Circuit Blog | 4THBIN

It’s extremely important to standardize your IT infrastructure for several key reasons. For one, it will reduce support costs. Your IT department will always encounter a learning curve with each new piece of technology you bring on. Having multiple devices will require configuring the same piece of software to work across all devices. Multiply that out by the number of business applications (Anti-virus, MS Office, custom business apps, etc) and there are a lot of variables that need to be accounted for with each new model. Reducing the number of models and/or software versions reduces the amount time spent internally supporting the environment.

Even better, having standardization across your company’s IT portfolio will benefit your company’s security—it is easier to protect a few versions of hardware and software than it is to juggle multiple technologies and, as a result, the different tools, updates and scripts that are needed to ensure the security of your technology and data.

But do I NEED it?

In a word, yes. Effective investment and portfolio management can reduce the cost of new expenditures upwards of 20% and cut about 30% off your maintenance and support costs. This all adds up to some serious savings and a lot less grief and risk.

Actively managing your IT portfolio is no longer an option for most companies. Despite the labels we give to some startups, we are all “tech companies” now. It has become more important than ever to recognize that your company’s tech is an asset and an investment. Some companies may benefit from setting up an internal portfolio management system, but, for most, it is just not realistic to recruit employees with that much knowledge of the industry. That’s why 4th Bin is proud to say we have a tried-and-true system for monitoring investments and resale potential, verifying that your technology assets are being used appropriately, and helping to advise you on project management and purchases.

Call today to hear more and get a free consultation.
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