Guest Post by Mark Bowker, ESG Senior Analyst
I’m always impressed when I see IT organizations that are strapped for resources and operating in firefighting mode take the initiative to turn around and successfully create a positive impact on the business as a whole. I’ll admit that when I was in IT, I had a few moments of brilliance, but it was so hard to break away from the daily tasks of simply maintaining the investments we had on hand. Virtualization and cloud computing are certainly poised to enable amazing success for IT organizations that are ready to learn and embrace a better way of computing and delivering IT services.
ESG recently spoke with a few SMB IT organizations and published a white paper on the current and planned success of virtualization and cloud initiatives, the success they are having with transforming desktop and application delivery, and how cloud is becoming a preferred consumption model. The information we captured was fascinating and ranged from efficiencies in blocking and tackling:
“Having one view is very important—when administrators have to switch over to different management consoles to access systems, that is really hard. Now we can do faster deployments and day-to-day tasks.”
—Infrastructure Architect, IT services firm
…to truly changing the way IT thinks:
“I think most small businesses think of virtualization and think of one thing: How can I get more server density and more applications on the same server so I can get more out of it? It has taken us a while to grow and think about virtualization not just in terms of server density, but also about how it creates an abstraction between the application and the hardware. Now we are experimenting to see where else in the company we can gain some benefit from using virtual technologies.”
—Vice President of IT and System Operations, financial services firm
While upkeep of the current infrastructure will always be necessary, an increasing percentage of new-project spending driven by IT leaders, as shown in the below figure, indicates an organization in which technology becomes a tool to implement strategy, rather than simply a tactic to keep the status quo intact. This is certainly the case with server virtualization, and it highlights the potential for cloud computing and desktop virtualization in SMBs.
So even if you have started to virtualize and explored desktop delivery and cloud consumption models, keep your foot pinned on the accelerator. Possibilities abound and your peers are racing ahead, discovering ways to simplify their responsibilities, amplify IT’s value to the core business at hand, and have fun doing it.
- Mark Bowker
ESG Senior Analyst Mark Bowker focuses on all things related to virtualization and cloud computing. Mark researches cloud and virtualization technologies and evaluates the impact the solutions have (or will have) on IT strategy and the broader marketplace. His other research areas include data center management, application workload deployment in next-generation data centers, and the external influences driving adoption of data center technologies. Prior to joining ESG, Mark ran the IT organization for a business consulting and technology services company. A Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer, Mark is experienced in designing, implementing, and expanding network and system infrastructure for global organizations.