Business Value in the 2009 Economic Climate
The economic climate has changed dramatically over the past several months, and the ramifications across the economy are still being played out. Within a matter of a few weeks, a significant contraction in IT spending took place and IT executives are re-prioritizing 2009 initiatives on the change in landscape. For example, a survey by CIO magazine finds that 40 percent of CIOs plan to cut their budgets from last year’s levels. Business value—and the ability to measure it—has become a pivotal criteria as IT teams evaluate IT projects.
Retrospective and prospective business value
The evaluation is both prospective and retrospective; IT organizations not only want to understand the potential business value of the IT solution in question but the results of past deployments involving similar products and solutions. This equates into a couple of different foci. IT teams are pressing their suppliers, on the one hand, to demonstrate the realized and projected business value of implemented solutions before making additional acquisitions or extending current contracts. For new solutions, on the other hand, IT organizations often embed, within the request-for-proposal or request-for-inquiry (RFI) process, requirements for the suppliers to demonstrate potential business value using models developed or verified by third parties.
Business Value Analysis Studies
Four years ago, the Customer Relationship and Publishing team at Symantec launched a third-party Business Value Analysis Study initiative. The objective was to help Symantec customers pinpoint the business value they have realized—or are projected to realize—using Symantec solutions. The team currently works with The Alchemy Solutions Group, a third-party global management consulting company, on the development of Business Value Analysis studies on select clients.
On a variety of different solutions and customers from various industries, the Business Value Analysis studies examine different technology deployments from the lenses such as labor productivity gains, cost savings, lost revenue opportunities, and cost avoidance. As my team and I have spoken to customers for CIO Digest, Business Value Analysis studies, and other activities over the past several months, as well as our sales organization, business value—both for solutions under consideration and those already implemented—is often front and center. Symantec is in a unique position in the 2009 economic climate because of our hardware-agnostic approach—from security management, to endpoint optimization, to storage management, to information risk management, to high availability—to help IT organizations achieve business value.
Aspirus Business Value Analysis Study
Two recently completed Business Value Analysis studies demonstrate this point. Aspirus, Inc., a health system based in Wausau, Wisconsin with 321 beds, sought to reduce costs and improve labor productivity associated with backing up data, delivering software and services, and managing device inventory. With a variety of different solutions supporting endpoint security and management functions, the IT team wanted to consolidate these into one standard tool set. The team turned to Symantec Partner ITS Partners, which worked with them to standardize data protection on Veritas NetBackup and an ExaGrid 5000x disk-based backup system and consolidated endpoint security and management on Altiris Client Management Suite and Symantec Endpoint Protection 11.0. The business value analysis conducted by The Alchemy Solutions Group pinpointed a number of quantified results:
- Backup Labor Cost Avoidance: $196,257 in IT labor cost avoidance through streamlined data backups despite growing data volume from January 2005 through December 2009
- Backup and Troubleshooting Labor Productivity Gains: $396,873 in IT labor productivity gains through reducing the amount of time spent managing and troubleshooting backups from January 2005 through December 2009
- Desktop Imaging Labor Productivity Gains: $17,896 in IT labor productivity improvements through streamlining server imaging from January 2005 to December 2009
- Software Delivery Labor Productivity Gains: $430,671 in IT labor productivity gains attributed to expedited software delivery from January 2005 through December 2009
- PC Scanning Labor Productivity Gains: $967,915 in end-user labor productivity gains attributed to faster PC virus and malware scans from May 2008 through December 2009
For more details on the above, check out the Business Value Analysis Study at
Mitel Business Value Analysis Study
Mitel, a provider of communications solutions for large and small organizations with 3,000 employees, 1,500 partners and value-added resellers, and operations in over 90 countries, wanted to optimize its IT operations and infrastructure. Some of the challenges included a fragmented backup-and-restore environment; the need for email archiving, e-discovery, and expiry; and client management , including application and asset inventory management and patch management.
Over a period of several years, the Mitel IT team standardized several IT functions on Symantec technologies—starting with data protection on Veritas NetBackup, then client management on Altiris Client Management Suite, and finally email archiving and e-discovery on Symantec Enterprise Vault. The latter includes a leading-edge email retention (including expiry) policy.The Business Value Analysis study conducted by The Alchemy Solutions Group pinpointed measurable business results in a number of different areas:
- Backup Labor Productivity Cost Avoidance Savings: $806,643 in realized and projected labor savings through improved backup productivity from January 2005 through December 2009
- Backup Troubleshooting Labor Savings: $510,184 in realized and projected labor savings through improved backup troubleshooting capabilities from January 2005 through December 2009
- PST-Related Labor Productivity Savings: $2,640,018 in realized and projected labor savings for end users who no longer need to deal with PST files and other email-related issues from May 2006 through December 2009
- Email Storage Savings: $242,945 in avoided costs (realized and projected) for email storage from May 2006 to December 2009
- Email Search Labor Productivity Savings: $3,614,022 in realized and projected labor productivity savings for end users due to faster email search capabilities from May 2006 through December 2009
- Asset Management Labor Savings: $324,366 in realized and projected labor savings related to more efficient computer asset management from January 2007 to December 2009
- Patch Management Labor Savings: $152,642 in realized and projected labor savings from automated application and operating system patch management from January 2007 to December 2009
- Third-Party Data Recovery Service Savings: $11,400 in realized and projected cost avoidance savings by not sending crashed disks to third-party data recovery services from January 2007 to December 2009
For more details on the above, download the Business Value Analysis Study at