New IDC Study: Simplicity in IT Saves Money, Brings Results



Today’s business technology might seem more complex by the minute. The truth, though, is that it’s actually getting simpler, thanks part to new, cloud-based service delivery models such as Desktop as a Service.

And, according to a new study from IDC, IT simplicity pays off big, both in savings and better performance.

The IDC study involved taking a close look at the inner workings of nine companies and developing a “complexity index” to describe the benefits of simpler IT approaches. The net finding: Reducing IT complexity results in annual benefits of $3,610 per user at the companies studied.

“Whatever the source of their complexity, organizations must work to contain it and simplify their IT infrastructures,” IDC wrote in the report, sponsored by Oracle. “Simplification drives a number of benefits, including improved user expectations, reduced costs, and improved operations.”

The biggest reason for simplifying IT infrastructure, however, was this:

“For most enterprises, IT is not their core business. By simplifying their IT infrastructure, organizations can devote more of their resources to providing better services to customers and users, enabling innovation and increasing productivity for workers throughout the enterprise.” 

In other words, why take on the task of building and maintaining your own IT infrastructure and maintaining software licenses when those things are not your core competencies? Anyway, organizations need laser focus on their business goals.

“Just as they don’t generate their own electricity, build the vehicles in their fleet or shoot and produce their own advertisements, for most businesses, it may not make sense to own and operate the bulk of their IT infrastructure,” the authors wrote.

Approaches to Reducing Complexity

IDC outlined several ways the organizations have attacked the complexity problem. Among those measures:

  • Shrinking the infrastructure footprint: Organizations are working to reduce the physical server, network and storage footprint, thereby reducing the number of systems IT staff have to maintain.
  • Unifying operating environments: According to IDC, streamlining the number of operating systems and environments greatly reduces complexity and the corresponding burden on staff.
  • Outsourcing complexity to cloud providers: In other words, allowing third-party vendors to provide things like cloud-based infrastructure and software licenses.

Among the benefits of simplified IT, according to the study:

  • Reduced staffing needs in IT
  • Ability to use lower-cost hardware
  • Consolidation of licenses
  • Overall improved system performance
  • Better end-user productivity
  • Better scalability

The organizations studied were mostly large enterprises, including an airline, a large government contractor and a maker of medical devices. However, the lessons provided apply to companies of all sizes: Unnecessary IT complexity kills.

Lessons for Small and Midsize Businesses

In the case of small and midsize organization, the clear lesson is to get out of the IT business altogether so you can focus on your primary goal, whether that’s selling services or teaching kids. Let someone else worry about maintaining infrastructure and software licensing.

That’s the whole idea behind true Desktop as a Service, as opposed to the lesser products offered by companies such as Amazon, VMWare and Cisco. With true DaaS, which we also call Windows Network as a Service, your organization requires no on-premises servers. You never have to acquire or install any software and you always have all the capacity you need.

The only thing users need is a device – desktop or tablet, it makes no difference – that can access the Internet, and they can access their work from anywhere. The organization enjoys lower costs, infinite scalability, and always has the latest and greatest in software capability.

When it comes to technology, it doesn’t get much simpler than that.

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