Business Intelligence for Cost Savings in IT

One of the most expensive mistakes anyone can make in life is ignoring the details. Whether it’s that stack of parking tickets piling up on the dining room table or your crippling addiction to Steam sales, the possibility of being overwhelmed by the small costs in life is very real. Even worse is the fact that those expenses are difficult to keep track of by the very nature of how little attention they bring to themselves. When you get hit with massive, expected costs it’s easy to keep up because they hurt and there’s no ignoring it, but the slow bleed of a minor hit is easy to miss. Unfortunately, in real life and the IT world, these can be the items that topple everything when they build up (and lead to some serious finger pointing).

Luckily for IT (but not for your personal life, sorry), Lakeside Software has put some serious thought into how these individually small impacts can be automatically analyzed and used to predict areas of savings to take the manual effort away from managing costs to the business. Now Lakeside’s SysTrack software provides a quick, automated analysis of the current state of any environment to provide a summary of where savings can be realized. Through the use of the new SysTrack Business Intelligence Impact Report (part of the MarketPlace program), a detailed breakdown of utilization and potential savings target can be created with any assessment across numerous cost categories.

One of the principle cost drivers in any environment is underutilization of assets, both for physical hardware and licensed software. Identifying where software assets can be rationalized out of the environment or licenses can be reclaimed can make a huge impact on the operational budget available to an enterprise, and it can be extremely difficult to arrive at an accurate picture of what users actually depend on. SysTrack automatically captures the granular information necessary to observe utilization for software down to the individual usage of executables per user and dynamically determine what’s being used where and who’s using it. Similarly, identifying when and where a targeted hardware refresh can be used (or avoided) can prevent unnecessary expenditure and avoid extra costs associated with additional support needs. SysTrack collects the performance metrics and hardware details necessary to make clear recommendations about which systems are ready to retire and which can remain in place.

Decreasing the TCO of end-user devices is something that we’ve built numerous solutions around, and some knowledge on the subject of how to maximize the returns on your IT investments with SysTrack is available to cover the finer points of cost savings. Much of this is based around aggregating the end-user experience and assigning some real, quantitative value to the time that users lose due to shortcomings in the tools that are available to them. Categorized, actionable data on what areas of the infrastructure and the computing platforms in use in the environment are causing problems can drastically cut down on support costs while increasing end-user productivity and satisfaction.

Of course there are numerous other avenues for cost prevention or reduction as well, and SysTrack has an incredible amount of analytical power dedicated to automating the triage and presentation of potential problems that can help any environment save money and perform better. To explore the value of SysTrack visit our solutions page for some interesting use cases.

Brian Madden on The State of Desktop Virtualization

TechTarget published the E-Guide “The State of Desktop Virtualization in 2013″ towards the end of last year. In it, industry analyst and renowned virtualization specialist Brian Madden analyses the results of a large scale survey that Tech Target conducted earlier.

Even though a majority of the survey respondents indicate that they are going to increase the adoption and investment in desktop virtualization, a few key concerns remain:

  • 43% of respondents are nervous about VDI performance over the WAN
  • 46% indicate that they’d had issues with end-user experience not being good. Some of the highlights in this category are challenges related to slow networks (read slow overall performance), unsupported peripherals, and video performance.

User satisfaction with any new solution is key to its adoption. Most users are willing to accept virtual desktop performance that is slightly lower than that of a traditional PC – mostly because the virtual desktop allows them to work in ways that they could not previously (more flexibly, from home, while on the road, etc.). However, it is very difficult for IT to accurately figure out ahead of time how the solution will perform and how the end-user experience will look like.

Here at Lakeside Software, we have been building solutions for end-user analytics and performance management for almost two decades with an early focus on virtualized applications and desktops. User experience is not impossible to manage or predict, and it’s actually easy to do when the right tools are used. Check us out at