The top priority in 2014 and beyond for many IT infrastructure leaders is to reduce their operational costs through efficiency gains. By doing so, they can meet tight budgets at a time of economic uncertainty and fund new investments without requiring increased budget allocations. Based on 50 discussions with Fortune Global 500 heads of infra­structure, it’s clear that one key initiative to improve the cost and delivery of IT services is to adopt a more commercial-style model of interacting with internal business partners, such as application-development teams, lines of business and support services.

We often see frustration between IT and business partners because the partners don’t have the means to understand clearly the cost drivers of the IT services they use and therefore find it difficult to influence their infrastructure expenditure. As a result, some organizations struggle to manage demand for IT infrastructure, which includes all the hardware, software and operational support required to provide application hosting, network and end-user services.

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