Printers

Five cost-saving tips

Discover some simple ways--such as double-checking purchases--to save money.


My recent article “Are you being forced to do more with less?” asked IT professionals how they were dealing with stagnant or shrinking IT budgets. The article also provided four tips to help support organizations make every dollar count. TechRepublic members responded in force to my question, and I’d like to share some of their suggestions.
In Response offers a weekly roundup of feedback from TechRepublic members intended to help inform you and your peers about critical issues in the world of IT. This week, TechRepublic members offer suggestions for stretching the IT budget.
Make every dollar count
A little red tape and paperwork
Member Fromthecat suggests using a little red tape and paperwork to slow down new purchases. Fromthecat’s department requires users to fill out a request form for all new equipment and equipment upgrades. Prices are listed on the form, and the user’s department VP must approve the request and then forward the form to the CIO for further approval. The CIO then determines if the equipment will come out of the IT budget or the requesting department’s budget. “This makes the requesting department slow down and reevaluate the need,” Fromthecat said, “and [it] has really cut back on our requests.”

  Doing More with Less
    Do you need creative solutions for stretching your IT dollars and making wise purchasing decisions? Check out our collection of articles for advice on outsourcing, planning projects, working with vendors, and increasing efficiency.  
       

    Do you need creative solutions for stretching your IT dollars and making wise purchasing decisions? Check out our collection of articles for advice on outsourcing, planning projects, working with vendors, and increasing efficiency.  
       

Lengthen server platforms service life
Peter P. believes that before an organization invests in new servers, it should consider upgrading the CPUs, memory, and/or disk space on the existing server systems. “Midrange platforms are great candidates for this approach,” Peter said, “and you can usually retain the existing service and maintenance contract prices from the vendor.” Peter points out that the cost savings realized by upgrading a midrange server's dual 120-MHz CPUs with 350-MHz CPUs can be significant when compared to buying the latest box off the vendor's floor. While Peter realizes that not every request for “more horsepower” can be addressed with an upgrade, he encourages IT departments to look at all the options before committing to a purchase.

Use network printers
Member Robbi61 says she is often amazed by how many of her customers have a printer at every workstation when it's not really necessary. “Most laser printers,” Robbi61 said, “can be installed on the network or can be shared on the network through one machine.” High-volume printers such as the HP 5si, 8000, and 8100 series are intended for multiple users and have life spans of several million pages. These, along with many of the older printers, are very long-lived devices and can be centrally located for several users.

Recycle old equipment
Both Richarde and Adj recommend reusing old equipment. “When one person upgrades,” Richarde said, “their old machine may still be an upgrade for another.” Adj said his organization also trickles down older machines to users who don't need lots of processing power. By extending the warranties, Adj’s organization can keep the machines in the cycle for eight years.

Monitoring software
TechRepublic member Steve L. reported that he recently lost two of his desktop and server support people. One of the ways he’s dealing with the loss is through the use of network monitoring software. This system monitors his servers for application failures, low disk space, and other such problems. It will also send Steve an e-mail when something requires his attention. Steve says he no longer worries about filling out the daily checklist because the software is tracking it for him.
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About

Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop supp...

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