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Top 6 factors driving IT costs up

In the current economic climate, many businesses are re-examining their expenses hoping to trim the fat. At the same time, there are multiple reasons which are pushing costs up.

Top 6 factors driving IT costs up are :

1. Compliance Requirements
This includes mandating organizational policies to safeguard the information/data within the organization. Confidentiality, integrity  are the top priorities for any organization. Tools and processes needed to maintain them increase the costs.

2. Distributed Networks
Most organizations face a challenge with a heterogeneous endpoint management , ie. managing different platforms like Windows, Linux, Unix, Macintosh... if they have mobile systems then it includes iOS, Android, Symbian, Blackberry and Windows mobiles. The environment gets more complex with highly distributed endpoints.

95% of the workforce is mobile. Connectivity is often inconsistent and unreliable. As a result distributing patches and updates is difficult if not impossible and require frequent reporting mechanisms to confirm that the device is patched. Gartner research discovered that it takes many organizations 120 days to achieve 90 - 95% patch success rate and only 50-75 % of all machines receive a given patch within the first week. Longer patch cycles increase the maintenance costs.

3. Mixed Environments
Most enterprises don't standardize on a single OS. Most organizations are finding today that if they want get one view across all their different platforms , they need to deploy different solutions which requires multiple tools, breadth and expertise, which in turn drives costs up.

4. Configuration combinations
More than 70% of end users change their security settings across their devices along with software they use. Trying to keep them the same is difficult.

5. Virtualization Trend
Virtualization technology usage has grown by more than 45%. More machines means more management overhead.

6. No information about asset (hardware and software) usage
Lack of software and hardware usage by an employee/project prevent quality decision making and systems management for asset optimization.

In all cases above, Visibility is key in a constantly changing distributed network and very much required for cost effective systems management.