X-CIO: Technology Islands — Why You Need to Consolidate to Save Big

As an IT manager, hearing “spend less” over and over again, one of the easiest tasks is to consolidate “technology islands” (i.e., multiple applications) under a single vendor. Does it make it easier to do <whatever>? Yes, but more importantly it gives you financial leverage to negotiate a fair price.

When you decide to move to a single vendor, you start the move toward those savings and growth.

Take the time to look at what software you have.  Is there a vendor that has a complete solution — or one close enough to it? There is — there always is. If you’re not sure, Google it!  The solution does not have to be 100 percent perfect — it has to give you what is valuable to you at a fair price.

Does it complete your IT vision?  (If you don’t have one, take your vendor’s vision and call it your own.  It’s ok, I won’t tell.)  Does consolidation make managing IT easier?  Yes, it does.  The standard “single pane of glass,” common look and feel and consolidated security all come into play.  Find that vendor that has a vision, the resources to execute, and is getting it done (not a three-year plan — now is now).

The short version is — can your staff members do better by using a single platform?  Yes, they can.

Less switching around to various applications — one group to go to for questions, applications that leverage off one another and build more value as you add on more, yes.

Do you look better because you leverage your vendor’s complete IT vision; yes, you do.

All that is great, but you want to spend your money wisely.  So ask yourself “Does moving to a consolidated IT solution save you money? Yes, it does.

Validate this with a few simple steps:

Step 1: Inventory your applications

Step 2: Review and quantify which applications add value to your business or reduce risk

Step 3: Ask you vendor for a fair price:

  • “If I move another application to you, can I get 10 percent off?”
  • “If I move two applications to you, can I get 20 percent off?”
  • “If I move three applications you’ll give me 35 percent off, right?”

Step 4: Where can I re-invest those savings to generate more revenue?

What is a fair price?  

“Fair” is what you are willing to pay for what is valuable to you.  Know what is important to you; know your vendors’ competitors and price points.  We are all here to make money, so I understand that vendors want “their” price.

I had conversations with two software vendors this week.  Vendor X’s price was double that of some of its competitors, which offered equal or more in “value to ME.”  Vendor Y was reasonable but had no other offerings.  I found another vendor, which had multiple tools and a roadmap.  I explained:

  • What I had
  • What was important to me (key features)

Then I offered a fair price point.

A short conversation and I had a plan to save money, a vendor with a vision and a roadmap that allows me to reinvest those dollars for growth.  There is a cost to move, details to work out and data to convert, and I asked the vendor for help in moving over.  I was happy to hear my vendor of choice had indeed done this move and had professional services to assist.

So, in short: Get off the island and consolidate to save.

To learn more about how an end-to-end solution can benefit your business check out Kaseya IT Complete.

Posted by Doug Barney
Doug Barney was the founding editor of Redmond Magazine, Redmond Channel Partner, Redmond Developer News and Virtualization Review. Doug also served as Executive Editor of Network World, Editor in Chief of AmigaWorld, and Editor in Chief of Network Computing.
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