October 2003 - Software
Maximum Information Technology
Demands for information technology (IT) are growing, and budgets are getting tighter. So how can a manager get the most out of existing IT under these conditions? A new study from Deloitte Consulting offers a strategy for maximizing IT, especially in the public sector. The report, Cutting Fat, Adding Muscle: The Power of Information Technology in Addressing Budget Shortfalls, suggests a three-pronged approach: rightsize IT, use IT to cut costs, and optimize revenue.
The first step might be the most important. The report offers three tactics to eliminate inefficiencies in IT budgets:
- Consolidate. Consolidation eliminates redundant systems. Hardware and software purchases can be rationalized, and the ability to manage the technology infrastructure becomes less labor intensive, lowering costs for personnel, maintenance and ongoing operation.
- Outsource. This step allows organizations to reduce costs by using the outsourcer’s economies of scale, providing access to technical expertise and the ability to negotiate deep price discounts that no single organization could replicate.
- Share. Getting departments to stop buying redundant IT systems and sharing what they have is the one of the best ways to shave IT spending.
Add This to the Price of Lighting
The breaking of one 8-foot fluorescent lamp and its subsequent vacuuming has cost one Indiana library $70,000, according to the East-Central Indiana Star Press.
“What’s been going ever since is, [the vacuum cleaner] has been tossing little beads of mercury from over here to over there,” says Bill Simes, on-scene coordinator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
“The take-home message is, don’t attempt to use a vacuum cleaner to clean up mercury from a fluorescent bulb or other mercury containing device that breaks in your home, library, school or business,” says Michael Bender, director of the EPA’s mercury policy project. “Also, don’t believe it if anyone tries to convince you that mercury releases from fluorescent bulbs — or any other mercury product — is not a problem.”
Web Resource: Streamlined NIOSH Site
Facing tough questions about indoor environmental quality (IEQ)? The National Institute for Occupational Safety Health (NIOSH) has launched a more focused and streamlined Web site designed to help visitors find information about work-related IEQ issues.
The site links several NIOSH resources that can help users develop strategic, practical approaches to establishing and maintaining good IEQ in the workplace. Resources include:
- Building Air Quality: A Guide for Building Owners and Facilities Managers
- The Building Air Quality Action Plan
- Links to other NIOSH topic pages on related subjects, such as asbestos, asthma, allergies, and chemical safety.