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How to Provide a Seamless Digital Experience While Balancing Rising IT Costs

Salman Ali

Salman Ali, Senior Manager Solutions Engineering, Emerging EMEA, at Riverbed Technology

Like many organisations worldwide, UAE businesses are also feeling the effects of global inflation and rising costs, so are having to find ways to make savings wherever they can. However, as technology continues to advance and with digitisation still a key priority, companies need to continually optimise the digital experience to enable superior employee productivity and deliver business outcomes. For many companies, IT spend is only set to grow, with a 2022 Gartner report revealing that device costs have risen 20% since the start of 2021, and end-user public cloud services spend is expected to grow by 20.7% in 2023.

So how do companies balance IT costs with providing the required digital experience to empower employees to succeed? Significantly reducing costs in this area would lead to productivity and performance challgenges but there are ways to make savings sensibly. Let’s take a look at the most effective strategies CIOs are using to reduce expenditure on device, network and software – without compromising on the digital experience.

Optimising hardware updates

Traditionally, organisations would use age as the key indicator for when to refresh their employees’ devices. However, far more effective is leveraging observability tools that measure the actual performance and user experience. This gives a much more accurate view of whether hardware needs to be replaced, upgraded, or is in sufficient working order.

Having data that shows the health of employee devices, rather than choosing arbitrary dates, allows companies to significantly reduce how much they spend on device replacements. And importantly, it also has the benefit of making sure employees always have access to high-performing devices.

Cutting out unused software

Last year, Gartner reported that 30% of SaaS licenses go unused. In real terms, this adds up to millions of pounds a month wasted on tech. But with SaaS tools becoming ever more popular, it is increasingly difficult for IT teams to monitor and track software use across their entire organisation.

Using centralised Digital Experience Management solutions, businesses can automatically discover and measure the range of every application their employees are using. This insight can then be used to identify unused or underused licences, while reigning in bloated software spend caused by shadow IT applications.

Lowering network bottlenecks

Networks have become much more difficult to navigate as companies travel further down their digital transformation journeys. A large part of this comes from IT teams losing sight of potential bottlenecks because they must simultaneously manage both new cloud architectures and legacy infrastructures.

CIOs are now putting more emphasis on proactively looking for trouble spots before they become full-blown crises. This includes using network performance management tools to build a better idea of how communications move throughout their infrastructure. This streamlines data transport and reduces network latency and congestion, which overall helps to significantly decrease network costs across the whole business.

Bringing down cloud spend

Monitoring and understanding public cloud spend has become a complex issue for many enterprises, and not understanding cloud traffic and its impact on budgets will inevitably see cloud costs rise. Essential solutions such as, network and cloud monitoring from Riverbed are vital for organisations that need to prioritise traffic according to importance, reduce round trip traffic to the cloud, and provide clear insights into cloud expenditure. With this information, organisations can not only optimise their network and cloud performance, but they can also drastically cut down on bloated spending in areas like cloud egress.

Reducing IT asset spend

In today’s digital era, companies in the UAE must keep digitisation firmly on their agenda to enable them to stay competitive and deliver the required digital experience. But IT budgets are lagging behind rising costs, with Gartner reporting that nearly three-quarters of IT leaders they surveyed in late 2022 are being pushed to cut costs.

This means that organisations are increasingly having to do more with less. Clever strategic planning can help CIOs meet their targets in the current tough economic environment. Optimising device, network, software and cloud infrastructure can help companies lower costs, while still providing the required digital experience and keeping employee productivity high.

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