Using examples of tech giants like Google, Facebook, Apple and Microsoft, Forbes Magazine  contributor Dan Woods asserts that smaller organizations should be even more focused than large ones on streamlining IT to ensure they are running at peak efficiency.

Acknowledging a series of barriers that typically stand in the way, such as lack of time and money, inadequate information, sub-par alternatives and organizational politics, Woods goes on to offer 7 practices that lay the groundwork for effective IT pruning.

Monitor usage

Keep an accurate, up-to-date record on all IT infrastructure and how it's being used.

Monitor resources

Organizations also need to account for the space and energy required to operate the infrastructure.

Models of value

Woods suggests investing in tools that specifically tie the costs of the technology to the value it provides.

Thorough expense analysis

A periodic review of licenses and hardware may reveal opportunities to cut back.

User-driven development tools

The ability to test drive applications with a small pilot, for example, can help fine-tune organizational needs, resulting in smarter purchases.

Efficient purchasing processes

"The best way to prune is never to waste money in the first place," Woods said, explaining that many decisions that lead to technology excess take place at the outset, when unecessary software is installed, creating lasting maintenance needs.

Efficient integration

Consolidating IT environments, whatever the cause, requires thorough analysis of enterprise software and hardware to determine what to keep and what to cut.