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How to save on support costs without increasing risk

Blog

Cost versus risk. The age-old dilemma. Getting the balance right is always tricky – and nowhere is this truer than in IT support services. 

You know the conundrum. If a critical piece of infrastructure goes down due to inadequate support, it can cost the business a lot more than a lower risk service plan. On the other hand, spending more than you need to on supporting non-critical infrastructure is just a waste of money. 

No IT Operations Manager wants to see their company in the headlines for a data breach that happened because they hadn’t done all their patching. So they err on the side of caution, over-specify support SLAs, and end up spending more than they need.

There is a middle way. It’s not about down-sizing to save costs, or up-sizing to reduce risk across the board – it’s about right-sizing support for each system, location, or individual asset based on how critical it is to the business.

This way you can set a high level of support where you really need it, but avoid over-paying where you don’t. It just takes a bit of analysis. 

Here’s how you do it 

Perform an automated discovery and get your asset register up to date.

Work out how critical each part of your IT is to the business by assessing the business impact of a failure of each system. Do this in collaboration with business stakeholders and users.

Agree the maximum length of time the company could afford to be without each element – do this at the level of location, business process, system, or individual configuration item.

Set the required level of availability and a recovery-time objective for each element.

Sort systems into tiers based on how much support they need.

Tier One systems would include mission-critical applications or infrastructure where any loss of service would have a severe financial impact. They would require the highest level of availability and support.

Tier Five services would include non-critical applications or infrastructure where a loss of service would have little business impact. Here a lower level of reactive support would be sufficient.

Then choose a support provider with a granular service level offering so you can tailor SLAs to needs. They should be able to help you with the discovery, risk analysis, and tiering exercise as well. 

Get in touch if you need any help 

We’ve got the automated discovery tools and consultants to do the audit, analysis, and tiering for you.

Our Uptime support services let you tailor SLAs in tiers from business unit or location level, right down to individual asset.

Trying to do this yourself will give you a headache – but for us it’s our core business. We’re confident that by fine-tuning your support SLAs, we can save you some money without increasing your risk.

Ask your account manager, or contact us via dimensiondata.com.

Read more on how to right-size your support SLAs 

 

Previous Article: Why buying technology without support makes no sense Next Article: Get your applications cloud savvy

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