I was in a training session on Friday, when we were joined by the Microsoft IT team – the clever chaps that keep our IT network running right across the business, seemingly in the face of all of the odds.

I believe that the odds really are stacked heavily against keeping the IT system stable, because each user has complete control over their own computer – for example, I can hit F12 and rebuild any machine at any point, self-install software and am encouraged to use everything from Instant Messenger to development tools.

imageAsif Jinnah who manages the UK IT systems, talked about what they have been doing to reduce our internal IT running costs, and although our challenge is different to yours, I thought you might enjoy hearing some of our story of balancing the need to grow our business whilst managing our IT costs. Asif recorded a presentation for the virtual TechNet conference in June in the IT Management Auditorium section, and you can watch his full presentation, as well as download his slides, which are full of facts and figures:

  • We manage 250,000 computers via SMS, including 124,000 Vista clients, and 20,000 Windows 7 clients
  • There are over 350,000 internal SharePoint sites
  • Over the last 4 years, the IT team have delivered a 44% decrease in IT cost per head
  • We have over 500 virtual servers, running on a 16:1 host ratio
  • OCS is saving us £160,000 a month on telecoms

There’s also an interesting part about the reductions we made when we changed the way we ran our internal IT help desk – which resulted in reduced costs and reduced user satisfaction! (I noted this because of the way that Asif was prepared to be so open about our experiences - even the ones which obviously required more work)

You can find the whole presentation by going to the Virtual TechNet site, and looking for the "Growing the Business and Managing Costs – An Insider’s view” presentation in the IT Management Auditorium

image