The basic rule in business is to control costs, increase revenues and maximize profit. Companies are increasingly looking toward technology to push greater efficiency and ultimately do more with the same number of or even fewer resources.
Below are some of the ways through which companies can leverage technology to reduce costs and resources, and it turn increase business productivity and maximize profits.
Virtualization in computing is the creation of a virtual (rather that actual) version of something, such as an operating system, a server, a storage device or network resources. It optimizes the use of existing resources, simplifies infrastructure and software administration, maintenance, and deployment.
Virtualization also reduces hardware needs, resulting in less power consumption, less space required, and lowers cooling costs.
a) Server Virtualization
This is the partitioning of a physical server into smaller virtual servers to maximize the sever resources. The server administrator uses a software application to divide the one physical server into multiple isolated virtual environments. It enables hardware assets to become fully utilized, maximizing the amount of computing power available.
Companies can reduce costs through reducing and eliminating the need for new hardware. Less hardware translates into lower energy costs and a reduction in floor/rack space.
b) Desktop Virtualization
This is a virtualization technology used to separate a computer desktop environment from a physical computer. The virtualized desktop is stored on a centralized, or remote, server and not the physical machine being virtualized.
Desktop virtualization enables users to run multiple applications and operating systems on their computers at the same time. It is reliable when users need access to software programs on a temporary basis or need to use software programs dependent on prerequisites either not installed on their systems or running on alternative operating systems or for companies that have limited information technology infrastructure.
Automation involves the use of computers and other automated machinery for the execution of business related tasks. Automation machinery range from simple electronic sensors such as light sensors that can detect light and automatically switch off electricity lights-thus saving on energy costs-to sophisticated machinery like robots. With developments in software and even mobile applications, companies can adopt automation in an effort to eliminate manual processes.
Processes like accounting, taxation, invoicing and payroll can all be handled from a single tool. Automation eliminates the need to double or entry systems and reduces the need to file large amounts of paperwork, freeing up time and resources for growing the business.
3. Cloud Computing
Cloud computing is a kind of internet-based computing that involves using a network of remote servers hosted on the Internet to store, manage, and process data. It allows users to access and run applications via the Internet without necessarily being in a specific location. It is a shift from the traditional approach where a user had to install an application and use it from a specific location. Cloud computing offers some advantages which companies may tap to reduce costs and resources. These advantages include:
a) Reduced Costs
Using cloud computing reduces the need to have actual hardware such as servers since companies can use virtual servers in the cloud. Companies therefore do not have to invest in on-premise information technology infrastructure, thereby saving on costs and resources.
There is also a reduced need to spend on hardware, software and licensing fees. By eliminating the need to install and run the application on the user’s own comp, it alleviates the user’s burden of software maintenance, ongoing operation, and support.
Resources are required to effectively store data that is pertinent to a company. Cloud computing offers a cheaper alternative since it avails large storage space for low costs.
Backup is the processing of making extra copies of a file so that the extra copies can be restored and used in the event that the original data gets destroyed or corrupted. Investing in backup processes requires the acquisition of backup servers, which come at a cost. Backup is however done automatically in cloud computing and this eliminates the risk of total data loss.
It also helps reduce on costs and resources as companies don’t have to invest in backup servers and can work from the cloud without worrying about data loss and costs incurred in backing up data.
Servers need to be maintained regularly, and this also comes at a cost. Cloud computing however helps reduce the costs and resources that would have been channeled towards maintenance since the servers are owned and maintained by a third-party.
e) Access to information
One advantage of using the cloud is that users can access information stored in the cloud from anywhere, as long as they have a device that can access the Internet. This allows employees to work from anywhere. It also allows quick and easy dissemination of information between employees, customers and trading partners. This saves time, allowing for decisions to be made faster and projects to be completed earlier.
It also saves on costs that would have otherwise have been spent in disseminating information through other expensive ways such as through physical documents.
4. Contemporary Deployment Models
With advancements in technology and computing, there are various deployment models available that can significantly reduce the amount of time money and resources required. An example is the Software as a Service (SaaS) model. This is a software distribution model that allows companies to access software at a subscription fee without having to install the same.
This helps save on costs and resources that would have been spent on installation and licensing fees. It also helps on maintenance costs as the burden is shouldered by the software providers.