“We recently had to replace the server in my office. It was seven years old and one of the hard drives failed. It was not an expenditure I expected to have this year. My IT guy said that my desktop is seven years old. He also informed me that half the machines in the office are between five and eight years old and that I should budget to replace all of them next year. If we did not have a weak economy, I would normally have replaced these machines after five years of service. I think my business is typical of many businesses around the world“. This is how Ronald Roge, chairman of R. W. Roge & Company, one of a highly regarded wealth management firm describes the situation.
The related article from forbes.com is about the IT market and the pent-up demand in many firms due to the crisis in the last year or two. The good news: Concerning 2010 forecasts, the industry’s experts expect the cork to pop this year.
What strikes me is that in the article they talk mainly about IT lifecycles and replacement procedures and not about how technology itself has changed in the last two years. Take virtualization technologies and the role they can play – even in a tense economic situation – as the key to doing more with less; to reducing hardware, space and energy demand and to making your business more available, more agile and more productive.
Of course, not before you have done your management lessons on integrating real and virtual environments in a consistent way. Using VMware it becomes clear that the dynamic provisioning of new systems is not enough. Unless they become part of your automation strategy they remain outside your business processes waiting for costly manual integration.
Talking about the cork which is supposed to pop next year we should also talk about the deadlocks threatening the virtualization issue. We should talk about virtual machine sprawl and costly process interruption at the intersections between virtual instances and physically deployed systems.
And we should underline that it is not enough to find out the status of your server hardware the moment you want to dynamically provision workloads; you have to go deeper – into the application layer that correlates and acts on events to bring real-time intelligence and real-time dynamic to virtual and cloud computing environments. It’s obviously much more than fulfilling IT lifecycles. It’s about considering IT as a strategic asset and not as a cost center.