Everyone in IT today has to do more with less. Budgets have been cut and will remain under pressure, writes Paul van Aswegen, MD of Informatica South Africa. There are five relatively low-cost options to cut costs – through efficient data management, thereby freeing up funds for more strategic IT activities.

* Reduce costs with data archiving across systems – Data archiving is automated using data integration technologies. This enables consistent archiving across systems and applications, avoiding the costs of specialised archiving processes and custom interfaces for each application. Eliminating six custom interfaces can reduce dependence on specialised labour and save R8-million annually.
* Automate data and application interfaces – Data must be accessible across systems and processes, but organisations are hampered by a proliferation of point-to-point, custom data integration interfaces and siloed data quality processes, leading to runaway development and maintenance costs and suboptimal business intelligence. A common process and technology can ensure efficient, low-cost data quality and integration.
* Retire outdated applications with information lifecycle management (ILM) – While there might be reasons to retire an ageing application, they are kept going because of the importance of the data. This can cost millions a year per large application. In contrast, ILM ensures that data from retired systems is processed, archived and kept accessible. Application-focused ILM provides cost reduction and new efficiencies.
* Find value and integrate legacy systems efficiently – Systems older than 10 years drive more than one third of business processes. It is costly to maintain point-to-point system interconnects across these processes. Using as a model an organisation supporting six legacy systems, each with a dedicated resource, by standardising data integration, the organisation can reduce the technicians to two in the first year and one the following, saving R6 400 000 in year one and R8 million in year two.
* Simplify IT and reduce coding through data integration – Organisations frequently deploy custom-coded or proprietary routines to replicate and synchronise data across systems, and support these routines with manual processes. Many of these tasks can be automated and managed from one tool, and establishing a common method to integrate data can reduce costs.