‘Allo ‘allo ‘allo, it’s time to get efficient and smarten up IT practices
It has been a few years since IDC and Gartner blew the whistle on the fact that far from embracing IT Efficiency, most organizations’ IT departments spend 80% of their annual budget on merely keeping ‘the lights on’. This week’s Smart Policing Report highlights an even worse statistic – 85% of London’s Metropolitan Police IT budget goes on maintaining out-of-date, ineffective and overly expensive technology. This report follows hot on the heels of the revelation that many Met Police officers who are using a desktop PC take around half an hour just to log on.
IT Inefficiency is not a Crime but Met Police should Enforce IT Efficiency
The report mentioned that one core system still in use today by the capital’s police force is based on a 1970s baggage-handling system, while the Met’s IT infrastructure consisted of more than 750 separate systems which had been pieced together over the last 40 years. Seventy per cent of the force’s systems were labelled “redundant” in the report, with that number expected to increase to 90 per cent by 2015.
To think that little is done to stop £212m ($330m) being so prodigiously wasted is probably due to the fact that in the past solutions were not available to ensure IT efficiency. Today, there are a number of tools and practices available that can identify IT waste, remove inefficiencies and optimize everything else. Sumir Karayi, CEO of 1E says, “This flagrant waste of public money is completely avoidable. Now, solutions exist to realize a CIO’s wish to streamline IT, reduce costs, remove unused IT assets and have a larger slice of budget available for spending on innovation.”
It’s time to wake up and smell the coffee. And drink it.
There are a number of quick and easy steps that can improve the efficiency of IT with the Met and boost the productivity of its 36,000 users.
Software License Optimization identifies unused software, and gives IT managers the ability to reclaim what’s not used, ensuring an organization is compliant and produces immediate savings. On average there’s more than £400 of unused software on most users’ PCs. Based on 1E experience, organizations can reclaim on average £30 of unused software assets through purchase avoidance and maintenance cancellation so the Met could make significant savings – removing more than £10 million at a stroke.
Where and how else could money be saved?
Through best practice of IT Energy Management – which another UK police force has recently introduced – there are major benefits, for example the automation of software patches and updates through remote shutdown and wake up during out-of-hours means the PCs do not get left on unnecessarily all through the night. The rebooting of PCs automatically in the morning means they are on and ready for use when users come into work in the morning. With a conservative estimate of saving £10/year/PC that’s more than a quarter of a million pounds that could be saved, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg, as this figure doesn’t take into account the value of the half hour of users’ time that is currently wasted.
Other savings could be made by giving users access to the software, hardware, and services they need at just a click of a mouse. User-centric self-service via an Enterprise App Store can save time and resources, and ensure users are satisfied with the experience. Again estimates show that at least £2 million could be saved.
Let’s look at systems management – here again, proven with Streamlined Systems Management, more than 95% of distribution points can be removed. Patches, updates, and OS migrations are all run without affecting productivity and managed by a Business As Usual team. No expensive consultancy is necessary, infrastructure is flattened, software is delivered to users in the fastest time possible, reliable and at the lowest cost, and all without affecting productivity.
Furthermore, like some enterprises, many public institutions (including the Met) are still using Windows XP. In just over six months (April 2014), the deadline for extended support will expire and these organizations will expose themselves to grossly expensive custom support agreements, or risk possible security breaches (as there won’t be any new updates or patches) not to mention that many applications will (and many already) no longer support old versions of the OS, nor do many hardware drivers.
For Windows Migrations, automated zero-deployment is key for maximizing efficiency. There’s no time left to throw bodies at the solution – sending an IT engineer to every desk in an organization – some SIs and specialists think it’s still acceptable to automate 80% of the OSD tasks on every machine however this still requires a human to finish off the update process. Surely it’s better to automate 100% of the tasks on more than 90% of an estate and have engineers only visit the one tenth that needs extra attention?
On the Beat with IT Efficiency
The Met tells us it’s changing. It wants to become a Force that is more efficient and better at what it does by improving access and processes. It should look to decommission ineffective IT and reclaim unused assets. By tackling the IT budget and driving down costs to enforce efficiency will facilitate the Met’s transformation and set it on the path of becoming a model citizen. Now is the time to police its IT estate.