Modest-seeming IT Infrastructure Initiatives Can Deliver Significant Benefits
It doesn't always have to be a "big bang".
Smaller initiatives, if they are the right ones, can deliver significant improvements in the ICT environment- particularly when organizations need to squeeze greater efficiency from existing resources, or when they need to transform the datacenters.
IDC looked at these issues in depth in a recent CIO study focused around best practices and around initiatives that - when combined - delivered the most value across infrastructure hardware (including server, storage, networking elements), infrastructure software (including server and storage virtualization platforms, operating systems, system management software tools and governance tools), applications and workloads running on top of the operating system ( including packaged and custom software, with issues including licensing and support costs and support for business processes) and facility components ( such as building, cooling/power systems, datacenter connectivity and so on).
Bottom Line for ICT Buyers:
Whilst there are many different paths, the lessons that emerged from the IDC study lead us to make the following recommendations:
1. Invest in orchestration technologies. Using advanced automation, virtualization and systems management can reduce downtime by 30% and increase application deployment speed by 40%, according to the CIOs we surveyed.
2. Expect and demand double-digit cost savings from implementing best practices. The main cost savings achieved by the CIOs we surveyed were 10%-25% of staffing costs per server, a reduction in annual software licensing by 15%, and a reduction in total cost of ownership (including staff costs and hardware/software purchase and maintenance costs) of up to 15%.
3. Implement modern storage practices. Setting up tiered storage environments, unified storage tools, automated backup, and so on can help to considerably improve time to market, as well as minimize issues in virtualized environments. IDC discovered a strong link between overall datacenter performance and awareness around storage issues; we estimate that a modern storage backend can reduce waiting times by up to 20% depending on the application, and I/O-intensive data warehouse workloads can see improvements in the 30% range.