This vendor-written tech primer has been edited by Network World to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favor the submitter's approach.
If network infrastructure is not your organization's core competency or you have outsourced the environment, you lack control of equipment and transport services and probably struggle with complex pricing and non-standard billing. Worse yet, if your service provider owns either all or components of the processes, procedures, staffing and tools, it limits the changes you can make.
If that describes your environment, a network infrastructure cost optimization consultation can help you drive infrastructure costs down, capture the network environment processes, identify systemic issues and leverage best practices.
Take for example the real life case of a major oil and gas company with a complex global outsourced environment with multiple WAN and LAN technologies. An assessment and the implementation of strategic recommendations delivered a 470% return on investment, $4 million of savings identified for tactical and strategic network infrastructure planning, risk avoidance by identification and correct location of circuitry and equipment for potential outages, and savings leveraged to fund additional tactical initiatives to enable further cost reduction.
A cost optimization assessment provides a snapshot of the existing network infrastructure, strengths and areas for improvements -- which helps identify opportunities for planning and recognizes immediate cost savings between 5% to 30%. On average, a technical physical site audit results in tactical savings of 5% to 10% for equipment and transport not in use, as well as redundant technology; a complex technical managed services audit results in potential tactical savings of 5% to 15% for contract, inventory, redundant technology and incorrect technology mapping to best pricing; and best practices can generate additional productivity and efficiency savings of 5% to 20% throughout the entire network infrastructure environment.
A typical assessment begins with a survey and initial analysis of your network and identification of immediate and long term cost savings and provision of tactical as well as strategic recommendations. Next is a full blown assessment -- a deeper dive into your existing infrastructures (process, people, tools etc.) to identify root causes of inefficiencies and identification of systemic issues and recommendations for what can and should be removed.
The next three steps which run concurrently are the physical site audits, network contract audits and best practices, which involves:
Physical Site Audits
- Document physical network infrastructure inventory
- Reconcile physical inventory with virtual inventory
- Realize tactical savings and drive invalid costs out
- "Right sizing" optimization recommendation's with related savings
- Potential savings 2.5M - $3.5M
Network Contract Audits
- Deep network infrastructure contract audit to help realize immediate savings and drive costs out of the infrastructure
- Reduce infrastructure budget with technology discounts
- Estimated project lengths 6-12 months
- Contract Audit potential savings $2M 3M
Implementation of Best Practices
- Redesign and implement industry best practices
- Increase productivity and remove redundancy within the infrastructure cost process, people, and tools
- Potential savings $1M - $2M
Much has been said about cloud, big data and analytics, mobile, social and IT security as significant forces transforming IT and business, but little has been discussed about the impact of these forces on networking -- or about the role that networks play when business initiatives are based on them.
On the surface, it's simple: if the network is running efficiently and continuously, so is the business. But keeping up with cloud, social, mobile and analytics means organizations need a dynamic network infrastructure. Network strategy and optimization services can help your network become more responsive to shifting business demands and the latest trends.
Every enterprise can surely benefit from saving a few million dollars. This approach to cost savings is the next step in networking.
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