Browse Definitions :
Definition

lights on

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
SearchCompliance
  • compliance risk

    Compliance risk is an organization's potential exposure to legal penalties, financial forfeiture and material loss, resulting ...

  • information governance

    Information governance is a holistic approach to managing corporate information by implementing processes, roles, controls and ...

  • enterprise document management (EDM)

    Enterprise document management (EDM) is a strategy for overseeing an organization's paper and electronic documents so they can be...

SearchSecurity
  • cipher block chaining (CBC)

    Cipher block chaining (CBC) is a mode of operation for a block cipher -- one in which a sequence of bits are encrypted as a ...

  • block cipher

    A block cipher is a method of encrypting data in blocks to produce ciphertext using a cryptographic key and algorithm.

  • hacker

    A hacker is an individual who uses computer, networking or other skills to overcome a technical problem.

SearchHealthIT
SearchDisasterRecovery
  • risk mitigation

    Risk mitigation is a strategy to prepare for and lessen the effects of threats faced by a business.

  • call tree

    A call tree is a layered hierarchical communication model that is used to notify specific individuals of an event and coordinate ...

  • Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS)

    Disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) is the replication and hosting of physical or virtual servers by a third party to provide ...

SearchStorage
  • cloud storage

    Cloud storage is a service model in which data is transmitted and stored on remote storage systems, where it is maintained, ...

  • cloud testing

    Cloud testing is the process of using the cloud computing resources of a third-party service provider to test software ...

  • storage virtualization

    Storage virtualization is the pooling of physical storage from multiple storage devices into what appears to be a single storage ...

Close