Browse Definitions:
Definition

lights on

Contributor(s): Scott Quimby

In a line-item budget, lights on is a descriptor for expenditures that are absolutely necessary for maintaining a company's critical business operations. Lights on differentiates a "need" from a "want."

In a data center budget, for example, lights on describes line items that are critical for keeping existing information technology (IT) operational activities going.  Lights on, which includes electricity, cooling, equipment maintenance and software subscriptions, often accounts for the largest part of an IT budget.

Sometimes it can be difficult for a company to determine whether or not an IT upgrade is a lights on necessity. As a rule of thumb, if a vendor has publicly announced end of life (EoL) and has provided customers with documentation that it is removing a product, version or supported platform from the commercial market and will be discontinuing support, an upgrade can be considered a lights on expenditure.

The terms lights on and lights out are often used in financial writing to indicate whether or not a company is still in business. The implication, in this context, is that without the expenditure in question, the lights go out. 

 

Continue reading about IT budgets:

What percentage of my data center budget should be allocated for physical security?

Server refresh options: When to rent a server vs. when to buy

Top disaster recovery budget wasters

This was last updated in October 2011

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

  • internal audit (IA)

    An internal audit (IA) is an organizational initiative to monitor and analyze its own business operations in order to determine ...

  • pure risk (absolute risk)

    Pure risk, also called absolute risk, is a category of threat that is beyond human control and has only one possible outcome if ...

  • risk assessment

    Risk assessment is the identification of hazards that could negatively impact an organization's ability to conduct business.

SearchSecurity

  • security information and event management (SIEM)

    Security information and event management (SIEM) is an approach to security management that seeks to provide a holistic view of ...

  • polymorphic virus

    A polymorphic virus is a harmful, destructive or intrusive type of malware that can change or 'morph,' making it difficult to ...

  • cyberterrorism

    According to the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, cyberterrorism is any 'premeditated, politically motivated attack against ...

SearchHealthIT

  • accountable care organization (ACO)

    An accountable care organization (ACO) is an association of hospitals, healthcare providers and insurers in which all parties ...

  • patient engagement

    Patient engagement is an ideal healthcare situation in which people are well-informed about -- and motivated to be involved -- in...

  • personal health record (PHR)

    A personal health record (PHR) is a collection of health-related information that is documented and maintained by the individual ...

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR)

    Business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) are closely related practices that describe an organization's preparation for ...

  • business continuity plan (BCP)

    A business continuity plan (BCP) is a document that consists of the critical information an organization needs to continue ...

  • call tree

    A call tree -- sometimes referred to as a phone tree -- is a telecommunications chain for notifying specific individuals of an ...

SearchStorage

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • hybrid hard disk drive (HDD)

    A hybrid hard disk drive is an electromechanical spinning hard disk that contains some amount of NAND Flash memory.

Close