IT Management

Success consists, to a large degree, of being able to spot opportunity where others don’t. This is particularly true in today’s economic climate. When budgets are tight and people are nervous about their jobs, it’s easy to just hang on for dear life. However, it’s also possible to take advantage of current conditions to achieve success for both your company and yourself. 

Here are just a few examples to consider: 

The thrift opportunity: Tight budgets are forcing IT organizations to find ways to cut costs. At the same time, IT vendors also are being forced to cut prices. In fact, some are offering high-value solutions for free. 

IT organizations that take cost out of technology ownership, capitalize on current price discounts, and take advantage of free offers will be better able to survive the recession and also will have built fundamentally lower overhead into their operations. This will place them at a significant advantage as the recovery unfolds. 

The innovation opportunity: In the face of shrinking resource constraints, IT organizations typically scale back their plans and simply try to maintain the status quo. This is understandable—especially given the fact that during times such as these, upper management is more likely to accept a response of, “No, we can’t provision that right now” to its forward-thinking requests. 

But if IT organizations can come up with creative ways to provision new services while others put a moratorium on innovation, those new services can provide even greater competitive differentiation than they would have during good times. This is why it can really pay off to take advantage of the mainframe’s ability to run additional virtual Linux servers at minimal incremental cost. 

The status opportunity: For a variety of reasons, upper management often has a somewhat problematic relationship with IT. IT costs can be difficult for them to understand, especially in comparison to other areas of the business such as manufacturing and marketing. They also may have difficulty understanding the various management and integration issues that make the delivery of IT services such a challenge. 

IT organizations that perform and innovate during tough times, though, can substantially alter how they’re perceived by executives. This is especially true if IT has the vision to support corporate initiatives such as carbon footprint reduction or improved compliance auditability. And these are exactly the kinds of initiatives that mainframes are uniquely able to support. 

In fact, more effective use of the mainframe’s unique capabilities may well be one of the single best ways to find the silver lining hidden in the dark cloud of this recession. 

Of course, not everyone understands this. Many people still think of the mainframe as a “legacy” platform that’s primarily a holdover from the past. 

Nothing could be further from the truth. Vendors have aggressively evolved their mainframe solutions to address the changing needs of enterprise customers. And these advances are perfectly suited to the exceptional circumstances that IT organizations now face—specifically an extended recession combined with the continually increasing dependence of businesses on IT services. Mainframes offer tremendous scalability, unmatched reliability, superior security, tighter compliance, lower energy costs, and highly mature virtualization. These are the exact capabilities IT organizations require today. 

So, don’t get so focused on the clouds that you miss the silver lining. Use your mainframe as a strategic, recession-busting platform and you may come out of these difficult times in even better condition than you were before.