Surviving IT Cutbacks with On-Demand Resources

Jill Hartley

March 02, 2010

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In today’s challenging economic climate, I am of the opinion that we’re hearing too much about the pain IT Managers face and not enough about solutions. With the spotlight on high unemployment, lack of infrastructure investment and employee training reductions, many assume that it’s okay to simply maintain status quo to ride out the tough times.

Yet, many are embracing a do-more-with-less approach and raising the bar by using non-conventional resources that help them stand out from their peers.

Here are some ways innovative IT managers are surviving 2010 and taking advantage of cost efficient on-demand technology resources. On-demand referring, of course, to flexible computing resources available to the user as they are needed.

On-Demand technology services & subscriptions offer considerable benefits over traditional infrastructure.

Speedy & efficient access to cutting edge software

IT Managers are tired of fighting the internal corporate battle of keeping up with the latest and greatest technology with no committed budget or resources.

Despite IT budgets facing zero growth, we still find many innovators who were able to deliver a high volume of projects despite staff and budget cutbacks.

What I’m hearing is that savvy IT Managers are taking advantage of the growing number of virtualization, cloud and other on-demand technical resources and subscription services that are available--particularly when it comes to product evaluation and testing. This is occurring especially departmentally in response to specific business needs and in spite of organizational delays with software deployment and capital spending.

Experts stress the importance of IT Management supporting internal groups that are versatile and agile. Clearly, the emphasis is on building pockets of foundational platforms that will allow departments, workgroups and small teams to be the first out of the gate once the economy turns around.

Access fast fixes to technology problems using on-demand expert knowledge

Ultimately, the trend toward cut-backs impact a company’s ability to provide timely fixes to technical problems and sets the organization up for dissatisfaction if problems are not addressed. Considering predictions that the need for expert resources will continue to grow, companies need to find solutions when they face a shortage of qualified IT talent.

This is an area where on-demand services and subscriptions can help provide an efficient value-add problem-resolution to IT departments with de-centralized or non-existent resources.

Enhance your value to the organization with online expertise

There’s a lot of emphasis these days on building your personal brand to better compete for fewer positions and build a personal high-perceived value.

On-demand technical services and subscriptions have been known to be a key tool for those who have elevated their personal brand through timely technical capabilities including:
  • Access to a reputable knowledge base (desktop library, support experts, etc.) can be used to quickly and easily position yourself as an in-house expert across a variety of disciplines, platforms and software.
  • Training industry endorsed training courses, often free, can further enhance your skills.
  • Access to experts often in technical forums will help build your network, relationships and brand.
  • Any of these will help improve your value"both inside and outside of your organization.
TechNet Plus Direct. An on-demand IT resource

There are a growing number of on-demand resources designed specifically for the IT professional including one which I have first-hand knowledge and feedback from IT professionals across the country--Microsoft’s TechNet Plus Direct subscription. We built TechNet Plus to give subscribers product evaluation and testing resources such as Microsoft eLearning courses (some even apply to Microsoft Certification), Managed Forums by Microsoft Support Professionals, Support Incidents, Online Concierge 24/7 Live Chat Support and more. All are valuable resources that help better IT Pros as experts and provide them resources that might have been eliminated at their organization.

For as little as $349, an online 12-month TechNet Plus subscription also gives technology professionals access up to 70 leading edge products for evaluation and testing purposes without feature limits. Subscribers get first access to pre-release beta versions including Microsoft’s latest and greatest products such as Windows 7 and Office 2010, to name a few. Click here for more information about TechNet Plus.

Through March, WITI members can get a 12-month TechNet Plus Direct subscription for 28% off* the $349 (MSRP) price. Use promo code TNITWEB at checkout. http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=9710371

* Offer applies to new TechNet Plus Direct subscriptions in the US only thru 3/31/10. Subject to change.

Software is licensed for evaluation purposes only"not for use in production environments. TechNet Plus subscriptions include the most recent Microsoft software version. Visit Microsoft Software License Terms for details on your use rights for evaluation software and other components of the TechNet Subscription product. Toll charges may apply.


Jill Hartley works as a Piraeus Data consultant and is Microsoft’s marketing manager charged with overseeing the US TechNet Subscription program.

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