Make Your IT Budget Go Further in 2019

By Cherie Martin, Senior Solutions Marketing Manager
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With the tumultuous financial economy, most midmarket organizations are looking at holding budgets steady during the coming year. Too many unknowns are keeping executives from adding—or subtracting—from the bottom line. Some analysts have speculated that tariffs and counter tariffs may raise overall hardware costs; others expect a business boon with higher individual spends and bigger revenues. Honestly, it’s too early to know what will unfold economically in 2019. What we do know is that studies show that IT budgets for the midmarket are typically around 7% of the overall revenue and that figure is not expected to budge in 2019.

We also know, because we’ve seen it again and again, is that the expectations for IT and the wireless network get bigger and more complicated every year. Less downtime, more services, better app performance, no security risks. Let’s face it, in the months to come you will be asked to do more, like transition your workforce management system to the cloud or roll out an IoT solution for environmental control, without receiving more resources or funds.

What can you do to make the most of what you have? One good option is a cloud-managed network solution, as it not only reduces overhead but allows you to spread cost over time. These six questions and their answers describe the impact cloud-based networks and Aruba have on cutting costs, saving time, and being prepared for a fiscally tight 2019.

As business accelerates in 2019, can you respond to new demands without adding resources?

You can’t put a price on agility. As your business grows and expands, cloud-based networks can help you adapt to changes that tax both large staffs of experts or a lean team with a broad knowledge base. With digital transformation giving companies a competitive advantage, you will want your technical experts spending more time moving the needle forward, accelerating the business, and less time on maintaining network infrastructure.

What can help a lean, busy staff be more productive?

Chasing problems into black holes and responding to tedious fire drills is highly unproductive and frustrating for IT. Cloud-based network management offloads reactive tasks with embedded tools that will help network staff save time identifying where issues are occurring, scheduling truck rolls, and manually recreating problems in the field before responding. The time they save can be directed to the activities and projects on their plate that have the biggest impact to the business.

Does time savings translate to cost savings?

Moving to a cloud-based network solution does enable teams to save time and reduce operational expenses, but pointing to an exact number is tricky because each customer environment is different. To put into perspective, take the example of a midsize school district that implemented a cloud-managed network with automated troubleshooting to help lower the mean time to problem resolution. Once in place, the IT department reported saving 10 hours per week by eliminating the time spent on chasing down the root cause of issues. If you extrapolate this in terms of human-hours per year, that is an entire headcount for three months. Think about what an additional resource could accomplish in that amount of time.

Are you looking for savings in your wiring closets?

A cloud-based network solution makes a big impact on wiring closets. With less hardware, you’ll have more space in the server rack. Plus, associated warranty contracts becomes a thing of the past. Energy costs will also drop since you’ll need less energy to power and cool the appliances. In terms of staffing, fewer manhours will be spent maintaining the rack and upgrading the system on a periodic basis. All these savings add up!

Can you prove that you are protecting network investments?

The investment in cloud-based network managements starts accruing savings immediately. Instead of choosing a hardware-based infrastructure with a heavy CapEx investment, a cloud-based management platform lowers upfront costs.  On the OpEx side, this management choice is more budget-friendly, allowing budget distribution to other programs that impact the business. You spread expenses over time, paying as they are used. Also, you never pay for more than you need. Instead, you can invest in additional licenses and hardware as the business grows.

How else can you extend network management services to lower your total cost of ownership (TCO)?

Many midsize companies start with a managed services program by first moving their remote branches to the cloud. Why put limits on potential savings? Cloud-managed networking can support provisioning and management of all the infrastructure. By consolidating network functions to software on a common platform, organizations can reduce initial hardware costs and ongoing maintenance fees. Organizations will also realize faster deployment times and less complexity. The overall OpEx and CapEx cost savings are significant when you factor in deploying an SD-WAN, avoiding truck rolls for all branch networking, and securing the branch using a centralized access policy.

These are among the many ways Aruba and cloud-managed network services are designed to fit your budget. For more insight on the total cost of ownership of cloud-based management, check out this product wizard that breaks out both known and hidden costs and savings.